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The International Magazine Exclusively For Drummers 


Guidelines For The Traveling Drummea 

Rhythmic Transposition 
Ambidextrous Drumming 
The Rhythm Section:. A Dialog 


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1728 Nchi h Damen Ave nue, C h icago, IL 60W 7 


VOL 7, NO. 5 

Cover Photo by Rick Malkin 




Being the drummer for most of Fats Domino's and Little 
Richard's records would have been enough to insure that Earl 
Palmer's name would be included in the annals of rock. But as one 
of the most in-demand L.A. studio drummers, Palmer has left a 
recorded legacy that goes far beyond rock 'n' roll, and guarantees 

_ Earl a chapter in the overall history of drumming. _ 

_ by Robyn Flans .... .... 8 


Any drummer who can handle gigs with such diverse artists as 
Frank Zappa, Alan Holdsworth and Bill Watrous deserves 
respect, and when that drummer is revealed to be only 22 years old, 
the respect becomes combined with amazement. Chad discusses 
the background which prepared him for these very demanding 

by Dave Levine *... 14 


Just a few years ago, Terri Lyne was getting attention as somewhat 
of a "novelty"—a 12-year-old girl who played drums. Since that 
time, she has consistently shown that her success is not based on 
being a novelty, but rather, it is based on talent, musical 
awareness, and the determination to reach the goals she has set for 
_ herself. _ 

by Scott K. Fish .____._- 18 


A Guide For the Traveling Drummer 

by Kevin B. Mohror 77777777 , .... ............ 22 


_ Transmitting the Inspiration 

by Jim Dinella & Janet Ricotta ........ 24 




Odd Time Signatures 

by Nick Forte* ........... ....... 30 


Towards Ambidexterity 
by David Moylan ......T 


Accented Press Rolls 
by Lee Doiand .. 




Buddy Rich: Dedication to Excellence 
by Koy burns..62 


Listening to Learn 
by Ray Fransen. 



Bass & Drums: A Dialogue With 
George Marsh and Mel Graves 
by unarles ivi. bernstem. 

80 - 


Dannie Richmond: 

"Three Worlds of 

by David Wood...... 90 




Set-The-Pace Practice Pads 

- by Bob Saydlowski, Jr. .... 



Cymbal Stands 

by Bob Saydlowski, Jr.. 66 


Adjusting for Softer Drumming 

by Simon Goodwin.. 72 

.............. 114 




Kenwood Dennard 
by Konaid Hayek & David Corsi... 70 



by Randy Martin.... 100 





Karen Carpenter 

by Robyn Flans . 104 

— by Robyn Flans. 






. 4 





by Hal blame. 


by Michael Lpstem .... < 



MAY 1983 


Mail-order buying. Every year, thousands of Americans purchase millions- 
of-dollars worth of goods and services through the mail. 

As you're undoubtedly aware, Modern Drummer runs its fair share of 
ads designed to get you to drop a check in the mail in return for percussion 
merchandise. And though a small percentage of people may report less- 
than-favorable experiences with mail-order buying, I honestly believe the 
vast majority of mail-order operations are headed by sincere businessmen, 
who are anxious to satisfy their customers. Unfortunately, it's the unethi¬ 
cal minority which tends to give a bad reputation to the entire industry. 

Though we make an effort to verify the credibility of mail-order adver¬ 
tisers, in truth, it's rather impossible to affix the Modern Drummer Stamp 
of Approval on each and every one. There's hardly a publication in exist¬ 
ence that can vouch for all their advertisers, in every issue. Fortunately, 
we've never had many complaints in this area, and those that have been 
brought to our attention appear to revolve around delays. 

Keep in mind when you buy through the mail that essentially you're 
dealing with the postal service, or at best, an independent parcel carrier. In 
either case, delays are apt to occur. Also remember that your order must be 
received, processed, packed and delivered. Some companies also prefer to 
wait until your check has cleared before fulfilling your order. It's not at all 
uncommon for the entire procedure to take four to six weeks, or more. 

Many large mail-order firms will acknowledge receipt of your order and 
specify how long you can expect to wait for delivery. For those that don't, 
I've always maintained that an approximate time allowance should be 
specified in the advertisement itself. This can be quite reassuring to a 
buyer, and though some advertisers feel this tactic deters customers from 
ordering, I prefer to view it as a means of avoiding potential problems. 

Earlier, I mentioned the difficulty in vouching for the credibility of every 
mail-order advertiser in the magazine. However, don't take that to mean 
you shouldn't notify us if you have a legitimate complaint. 

First, be certain you've allowed enough time to elapse. Assuming you've 
done so, you then have every right to contact the supplier and request an 
explanation. The firm should also give you a clear idea of when you can 
expect delivery. If, for some reason, this approach fails, feel free to drop 
us a line that spells out all the details of the transaction: name of supplier, 
the issue in which you saw the ad, merchandise ordered, dates, copies of 
checks and order forms, and any other relevant information. We'll make 
every effort to investigate the matter. We've had remarkable success with 
the few problems reported to us over the years. And though it's never been 
one of our favorite activities, it is part of our responsibility to any reader 
who might encounter a problem with an MD mail-order advertiser. 

Once again, only a very small percentage of readers have ever reported 
problems. However, we'd still like to know about it should you find your¬ 
self among that small group. _ 



Ronald Spagnardi 

Rick Mattingly 

Scott Fish 

Michael Epstein 
Mark Hurley 
David Creamer 
Kevin W. Kearns 


Isabel Spagnardi 

Ann Thompson 


Ellen Urry 

Janet Gola 
Leo L. Spagnardi 
Robin DePaul 
Lori-Jean Syintsakos 

Evelyn Urry 


Henry Adler, Carmine Appice, Louie Bellson, 
Bill Bruford, Roy Burns, Jim Chapin, Billy 
Cobham, Les DeMerle, Len DiMuzio, Charlie 
Donnelly, Saul Goodman, Danny Gottlieb, 
Sonny Igoe, Jaimoe Johanson, Jim Keltner, 
Don Lamond, Mel Lewis, Peter Magadini, 
George Marsh, Butch Miles, Joe Morello, Neil 
Peart, Charlie Perry, Charli Persip, Arthur 
Press, Paul T. Riddle, Ed Shaughnessy, Ed 
Thigpen, Max Weinberg. 


Susan Alexander, Rich Baccaro, Charles M. 
Bernstein, Robert Carr, Jim Dearing, Clint 
Dodd, Robyn Flans, Stanley Hall, Dave Levine, 
Robin Tolleson, T. Bruce Wittet. 

MODERN DRUMMER Magazine (ISSN 0194- 
4533) is published monthly by Modern Drum¬ 
mer Publications, Inc., 1000 Clifton Avenue, 
Clifton, NJ. 07013. Second Class Postage paid 
at Clifton, N.J. 07015 and at additional mailing 
offices. Copyrighted 1983 by Modern Drummer 
Publications, Inc. All rights reserved. Repro¬ 
duction without the permission of the publisher 
is prohibited. SUBSCRIPTIONS: $21.95 per 
year, $39.95, two years. Single copies $2.25. 
MANUSCRIPTS : Modern Drummer welcomes 
manuscripts, however, cannot assume responsi¬ 
bility for them. Manuscripts must be accompa¬ 
nied by a self-addressed stamped envelope. 
CHANGE OF ADDRESS: Allow at least six 
weeksfor a change. Please provide both old and 
new address. MUSIC DEALERS: Modern 
Drummer is available for resale at bulk rates. 
Direct correspondence to Modern Drummer 
Publications, Inc., 1000 Clifton Avenue, Clif¬ 
ton, N.J. 07013. (201) 778-1700. POSTMAS¬ 
TER: Send Address Changes to Modern Drum¬ 
mer, 1000 Clifton Avenue, Clifton, N.J. 07013. 


MAY 1983 

The Shadow Knows 

Who knows what power and pulse lurks in the heart of a drummer. . . 

the Shadow knows. 

From the richness of the special ebony stain wood finish, to the depth and projection 
of the oversized Resonator shells, the Black Shadow is Premier quality personified. 
Get to know a Black Shadow set at your Premier dealer today. 

The Black Shadow 



Drat! Here we are, right in the middle of 
drumming's most exciting era to date, and 
this column begins to display letters from 
drummers who seem dedicated to retard¬ 
ing the art's progress. I refer to those who 
insist that "This grip, stick, head, cymbal, 
etc. is the absolute best." Mind closed. 
Oh, for Gadd's sake, folks. Let's get our 
(drum) heads out of our hip pockets. If one 
wishes to become stagnant in the ever- 
changing, multi-faceted world of music— 
that's fine. But, do the rest of us a favor: 
Shut your ignorant mouth and get out of 
the way. You don't count, and ultimately 
you won't matter. You're simply dead 
weight that impedes a vivacious art form. 
We should all listen to each other (and steal 
each other's best concepts to add to our 
own) and encourage one another to find 
new and exciting ways to translate feelings 
into musical terms at all levels of technical 
execution. The only truly "bad drummer" 
is the one who cannot make the band hap¬ 
pen. Our drumming, like our lives, must be 
an individualistic effort if it's to mean any¬ 
thing to anyone. So, let's quit this non¬ 
sense of trying to limit other players to our 
own concepts. Everyone should do it dif¬ 

Burt Dotson 
Tullahoma, TN 


In response to Dick Moore's criticism of 
Mr. Saydlowski's review of synthetic 
sticks, I'd like to state the following: Upon 
re-reading the review, it's obvious that X- 
10’s have less furring in the neck area than 
the Riff Rite sticks. This is true, based on 
our own tests. Our Lites with graphite will 
outlast Riff Rite sticks and they're much 
less expensive. Our graphite stick is solid. 
There's no seam (which can open up) and 
no hole in the center (which can collapse). 
X-lO’s were not intended to equal wood. 
They were designed to surpass wood. 
Weight and durability are inseparable. X- 
10’s are for today's physical drummers. 
They're not intended for old-fashioned or 
polite drummers. Our Lites with graphite 
fill the needs of sensitive players. 

As far as weight, size and balance are 
concerned, each drummer must make an 
individual evaluation. Hand size, drum 
sizes, muffling, tuning, and the volume of 
the group must all be taken into consider¬ 
ation. I found Bob Saydlowski's review to 
be both fair and objective. 

Roy Burns 
Aquarian Accessories, Inc. 

Anaheim, CA 


Somehow in pursuit of a larger/younger 
readership, you've strayed from featuring 
jazz players to pursue the careers of rock 
percussionists. While I'm realistic enough 
to realize that supply and demand is first 
order, I miss the former idiom. When I was 
growing up, I was inspired by Barrett 
Deems, Sid Catlett, Jo Jones, Sonny 
Payne, Max Roach, Joe Morello and oth¬ 
ers of their ilk. Although rock 'n' roll was 
popular then, it was not appreciated by se¬ 
rious musicians including top caliber 
drummers who made their living playing 
jazz. Then came the Beatles with Ringo 
Starr, and somehow the industry decided 
that they had to completely change their 
"act" around to cater to a youth-oriented 

The most important question I have to 
ask is: How can you possibly select John 
Bonham and Steve Gadd for your MD 
Hall of Fame without including Cozy 
Cole? I never heard John Bonham. Steve 
Gadd is one of the greatest drummers to¬ 
day but he's not a band drummer. Billy 
Cobham and Tony Williams are great also, 
but they're not band drummers. Les De- 
Merle, Butch Miles, Ed Soph, Jeff Hamil¬ 
ton, Duffy Jackson, John Von Ohlen, 
Gary Hobbs and Greg Field are all band 
drummers. A band drummer is a drummer 
who plays in big bands. These drummers 
are heard with small groups, but if they get 
a call from a big band they can not only cut 
the session, but they're right at home. 

Doug Light 
Los Angeles, CA 
Editor’s Note: The drummers in MD’s 
Hall of Fame were elected by the MD read¬ 
ers. Thus far , the following drummers 
have been elected to the Hall of Fame: 
Gene Krupa; Buddy Rich , John Bonham 
and Keith Moon. _ 


As — for better or worse — credits are so 
much of a musician's life, I would appreci¬ 
ate you correcting the impression in the 
January '83 MD, that the singer/song¬ 
writer in Jim Gordon's new band is Steven 
Luce. That should be Steven Moos. 

Steven Moos 

Burbank, CA 


The Elvin Jones article was a good one. 
James Black? Good to see someone who's 
not in the public eye brought to the surface 
in the most published magazine in the 
world as far as "educated" and "ear" 
(like myself) musicians. 

Jaimoe Johnson 

Macon, GA 


Becquie Venus' commentary on Gina 
Schock was the last criticism of a success¬ 
ful artist that I could silently accept. Gina 
Schock may not be the greatest drummer 
of all time, but she's as musical and sensi¬ 
tive as anyone else. If you want to criticize 
someone, keep it to yourself and think 
about this: If you have heard them, but 
they have not heard you—they're doing 
something right and you're not! So be a 
smart drummer and be open minded be¬ 
cause you'll learn a lot more musically and 

Steven LaCerra 
Brooklyn, NY 


In the February '83 MD Reader's Plat¬ 
form, Charlie Lynch's statement that 
"Evans heads cannot take a true tuning 
and are dead in character" is strictly not 
true. His statement that "the best drum¬ 
heads are medium weight general pur¬ 
pose" is a bit much to take. I tried the 
Evans Hydraulics and they worked fine. 
No complaints from my sound man or the 
players and the audience. I used to do a fire 
act and lit my drums on fire and the Remo 
heads couldn't take the heat. The Evans 
kept right on night after night. Let people 
decide for themselves what sounds best. 
That's what freedom of choice is all about. 

James M. Driver, Jr. 

Panama City, FL 


I appreciated reading what Charlie Lynch 
had to say concerning our new PTS drum¬ 
heads. I've never tried to hear for anyone. 
I believe that all of us that deal in sounds, 
hear what our ears will allow us to. I dis¬ 
agree with Mr. Lynch in that I believe the 
PTS drumheads to be pre-tuned; not just 
pre-tensioned. The heads, in general, are 
in tune with themselves. All other philo¬ 
sophical thoughts concerning what should 
and shouldn't be are of a highly personal 

Remo D. Belli 
President: Remo, Inc. 

N. Hollywood, CA 


In your February '83 MD, I noticed some¬ 
one with a question about their snare 
strings breaking. I've found that the 
sneaker shoe laces that come with Con¬ 
verse sneakers work quite well. I haven't 
broken one yet, and I used to. 

Pete Maier 
Neptune, NJ 

candnurd grj pq** 81 

MAY 1963 


> It's no accident that so many top rock'' ^ ^ ^ 
^performers and studio drummers are *> ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ 
' loyal Rogers players. 

' ^ N Rogers started in the drum business over 
N 100 years ago, and we've led the way in drum 
^technology with advances like the Dynasonic®^ 
L snare, Memriloc® hardware, XL drums, and 
| - multi-stack tom holders^ ^ ^ 

\ ' l ' Visit a Rogers dealer and try out a set.^ ^ 
“> You'll be joining some very distinguished " ^ 
* " company. 

> It 

r * 

r £-£■.* 


■4" V '<*' 

^ > 
"N > ^ 

> ’N 


II 3 

rKru ?^ 

rZET j* 

,^(P*** MI*J 


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Q. In the-April '82 issue, Danny Got¬ 
tlieb mentioned that you have a 
unique teaching method that I feel 
would be helpful to me in my style of 
music. Do you have a book out? And 
could you please tell me how I could 
contact you? Thanks. 

Scott W. Krause 
Keeneyville, IL 
A. I have three books out, published by 
me and available through Creative 
Music, PO Box 2086, Glenview, III., 
60025. The titles are: Rudimental Jazz, 
New Directions in Rhythm and Off The 
Record, a collection of transcriptions. 
I have a new book coming out this year 
that will be published by Modern 
Drummer. This one is strictly about 
technique. You can write me care of 
Dorn and Kirshner Music, 1565 Union 
Avenue, Union, NJ 07803. 


Q. In the November '82 MD, in the 
Paiste Cymbal ad on page seven, you 
have what looks like a bendable hi-hat 
stand. What is it and who makes it? 


Lake Station, IN 
A. It's a clip-on attachment that was 
made for me a year ago by Rogers. 
Since I'm not with Rogers anymore, I 
don't know what they're going to do 
with it. I wanted an attachment where 
I could mount a pair of closed hi-hat 
cymbals for effect. You can only play 
the hi-hats in the closed position. It's 
not a bendable hi-hat stand. 


Q. What are your thoughts on your 
solo albums? On touring small clubs 
as Bruford? 

Davedi Risio 

_ Wilkes-Barre, PA 


Q. I recently bought a second drum- 
set. I combine it with my old set, and 
now I have a really big set-up. I've got¬ 
ten used to everything but the double 
bass. My problem is that I can't keep it 
at an even pace most of the time, and 
when it is even, it's in 8th notes, and 
that's not what I want. I've heard you 
use your double bass on a lot of songs 
on the Exit: Stage Left album. How did 
you learn to use it so well? 

Jeff Wald 
Woodbine, MD 
A. I may be repeating myself here, but 
I didn't have a hi-hat for quite a while 
when I first began playing, and conse¬ 
quently, never developed a really 
strict discipline for my left foot. This 
has its drawbacks, but it did allow me 
to adapt to two bass drums easier 
than some drummers. It also had the 
effect of making the hi-hat very impor¬ 
tant to me once I did get one, so that 
circumstance of doing without one for 
a while did have a large effect on my 

The key to mastering it is, as ever, 
practice! Once I decided that I mainly 
wanted to use the other bass drum for 
punctuating fills and for solo work, as 
opposed to playing "beats" with it, I 
concentrated mainly on my triplets. 
As Tommy Aldridge has remarked in 
this column, balance has a lot to do 
with the smoothness and ease of play¬ 
ing two bass drums, and I think you've 
just got to sit there and play rolls, and 
rhythmic combinations using your 
hands as well, until you, well, until you 
can't sit down any more! Or until the 
neighbors drop hand-grenades down 
your drainpipe! 

A. My solo albums were, forme, a very 
personal and risky venture that were 
designed to be used as part of a life¬ 
long process of self-education in mu¬ 
sic. I learned a lot very quickly and if, 
at the same time, I entertained, that's 
great too. Some of the music I genu¬ 
inely liked; some I now find unlisten- 
able. But I was acquiring invaluable 
experience in handling and directing 
music and musicians, which could 
not be acquired in any other way. Play¬ 
ing the music live was exhilarating 
and I was only disappointed that, hav¬ 
ing had a reasonably fair hearing, the 
band "Bruford" could not be made to 
stand, economically, on its own two 
feet without record-company support. 
It's the air-freight charges across the 
Atlantic — they'll always get you in the 


Q. In your MD interview, you said you 
were afraid that the use of double 
bass drums would clutter Kansas' mu¬ 
sic. At a recent concert I was sur¬ 
prised to see you using a double bass 
set up. What changed your mind? 
Also, are you still using your prized 
wooden snare? 

Kevin Witte 
Schaller, la. 

A. Good question! To begin with, I 
don't consider myself a double bass 
drummer. I use it more as an effect for 
a particular beat or part of a song, 
rather than have it dictate my style. 
Recently, for the last couple of al¬ 
bums, the music was open to the addi¬ 
tion of the double bass sound, so 
that's why the change was made. 

I've got about eleven prized wooden 
snares. I have been using a 6 1/2" maple 
snare fora number of years, and I was 
using it on the '81 concert tour. 



MAY 1983 


"Every time I sit behind 
my kit, my cymbals inspire 
my expression* Very often, 
the first cymbal crash on 
the downbeat of a tune will 
set the mood of my per¬ 
formance-cymbals are that 

They're the most ex¬ 
pressive part of the drum¬ 
mer' s kit and a drummer 
who uses them well signs 
his signature with their 

That's why 1 play Paiste 

2 ... 21" 2002*..Crash 

1 ... 20" 2002.Crash 

1 ... 19" 2002.Crash 

1 - -. 22" 2002. Ride 

1 ... 22" 2002 ... China 

1 .. ■ 8" 2002 .Bell 

1 Pr* .14" 2002. .Heavy Hi Hats 

Expand your expres¬ 
sion. Visit a Paiste 
Sound Center 
and experience 
the wealth of 
special Paiste 
sounds* And for 

a short course in cymbal ex¬ 
pertise, get your hands on the 
comprehensive 60'page 
Paiste Cymbal Manual and 
Profiles 3 book of set-ups and 
biographies of hundreds of 
top international drummers 
and percussionists. 

For your copies of the Paiste 
Cymbal Manual and Profiles 3 
book send $3*00 to cover 
postage and handling to: 

Fable America* Inc 

460 Allas Street, Brea* CA 9262! 



—if s a matter of expression. 
The wide variety of sounds 
available from Paiste 
should be an inspiration to 
any drummer." 

In addition to being a 
founding member of 
Toto, Jeffs perfect 
balance of taste and 
power can be heard 
on more records 
than can possibly 
be listed here. How- 

*ftQlo by Risk Malkin 


r m t o list Earl Palmer’s contribution to mu 
m sic records, film and T. V. would take 
up an exorbitant amount of space. Perhaps 
he is best known for playing on nearly all of the 
Fats Domino and Little Richard records, as well as 
a great portion of the Motown records, including 
such artists as Diana Ross, the Four Tops, the 
Temptations, and Smokey Robinson. But this is 
one player who cannot be pigeonholed. 

Since his arrival in California in 1957, Earl 
Palmer has been the consummate musician who 
has mastered the art of versatility. As far as ses¬ 
sions, his ledger contains such other artists as 
Bobby Darin, Jan & Dean, Sonny & Cher, Johnny 
Mathis, Ray Charles, Gary Lewis, the Young 
Americans, Frank Sinatra, Sarah Vaughn, James 
Darren, Tiny Tim, Frankie Avalon, Neil Young, 
the Everly Brothers, the Righteous Brothers, Joni 
Mitchell and a countless list of other names. He 
has played on such T. V. shows as 77 Sunset Strip, 
Hawaiian Eye, The Bold Ones, films such as Ma- 
digan, In Cold Blood, Finian's Rainbow, Valley of 
the Dolls, Barefoot in the Park, and In the Heat of 

It is unfortunate that his ledger contains only 
names of artists, 
films and shows. 

There are no song ti¬ 
tles and I teased him 
mercilessly about the 
fact that those details 
escape him. With his 


multitude of 
ments, it is 
able that 
some of the 

by Robyn Flans 

details blur. 

He is a man who 
could easily choose to 
rest on his laurels, but 
that is not Earl 
Palmer. He is vital, 
energetic, enthusias¬ 
tic, and last, but not least, concerned; concerned 
about the state of the art and the state of the indus¬ 

This lastyear he has begun to activate those con¬ 
cerns even more fully by assuming the position of 
Secretary/Treasurer of AFM Local 47. It is the 
first time both those offices have been combined 
into one major responsibility, but if anyone can 
handle it, Earl can. His duties include disburse¬ 
ments to members as well as monies involving the 
Union. He is in charge of the bookkeeping and ed¬ 
its Overture, the Union’s newspaper. He is in 
charge of all correspondence, is a member of the 
board of directors and keeper of the minutes. With 
this commitment comes a sacrifice, for he is no 
longer allowed to receive money for playing, as 
that would be a conflict of interests. His dedication 
to the office, however, is prompted by his need to 
help. "I felt as a player, I was someone who keeps 
aware and concerned about the plight of the work¬ 
ing musician. I feel they needed someone who they 
felt had ideas consistent with their own. I hope to 
get musicians interested in the Union and to partic¬ 
ipate in itsfunctions, which in turn will strengthen 
the Union as a bargaining agent and protective as¬ 

sociation for those musicians. 

If that isn ’t enough, Earl is a grandfather five 
times over, with six children from two previous 
marriages and a baby daughter, the apple of his 
eye, Penny, age four, with his current beautiful 
Japanese wife Yumiko. "Of course I started hav¬ 
ing kids when I was 10, " hejokes, and you almost 
believe him since he looks at least lOyearsyounger 
than his 58 years. Recently, however, he has ac¬ 
complished the most awesome task of learning to 
relax, which perhaps accounts for his youth. Or, 
perhaps it is that he has spent his life doing what he 
loves most. Maybe it’s a combination of both. 

Warm, open, opinionated, sincere, with a sense 
of humor and an abundance of energy, to say that 
it is a pleasure speaking with Earl Palmer is an un¬ 

RF: You started off in vaudeville. How did that 
come about? 

EP: My mother and aunt were in vaudeville and 
from the time I was four years old, I travelled 
around with them. 

RF: When did drums enter into the picture? 

EP: I always played drums somewhat, even as a 
kid at Craig Elementary School in New Orleans. I 

was in a school 
band they had 
there and that was 
my first formal 
playing. But I had 
always hopped up 
on the drums dur¬ 
ing the vaudeville 
era like any kid 
would do. My 
bought me my first 
set at about six. 
C RF: Did you take 
| lessons? 

^EP: Yeah, in 
^school, with the 
^school band and 
fteachers. It was 
£just enough to play 
little marches. My formal training didn't come un¬ 
til I took some lessons from a guy named Bill Phil¬ 
lips, who was a very good Dixieland drummer in 
New Orleans. That was when I was about 10 or 11. 
On and off, I was always travelling with my mother 
until I was 17 and went into the service. There were 
times we were on what was called a good vaudeville 
circuit in those days and I had a tutor. When we 
were on the cheaper circuits, my mother would 
send me back to New Orleans or out here to Cali¬ 
fornia to my uncle. In fact, most of my formal 
schooling was in California, although technically, 
I lived in New Orleans until '57. 

RF: You told Scott Fish that no matter what you 
played, you brought a little New Orleans to it. 
What does that mean exactly? 

EP: There's a little bit different approach to the 
feel of the music and the rhythm, particularly for 
rhythm players, in New Orleans. There's always 
something somewhere in their playing that has that 
old New Orleans parade meter feeling. You could 
always tell a New Orleans drummer the minute he 
sat down to play. First thing you could tell is how 
he played his bass drum. He was influenced by the 
parade drummer. The parade drummers were 

MAY 1983 




pretty much the beat and pulse and influence of the 
parade bands because they set the pace. For exam¬ 
ple, going to a funeral, they would play the dirges 
and they would set it off with three or four beats on 
the bass drum. On the way back, after what we 
used to call "the planting," the band would set the 
meter for the second line. The people would form a 
"second line" behind the band and dance back to 
town or wherever they went. 

RF: Is that where you got your unique bass drum 

EP: I never really concentrated on it. The main 
reason I was used when I moved out here, was that 
I had that feel. It was natural. 

RF: So you weren't really aware that your bass 
drum technique was somewhat different? 

EP: No, I was aware it was different, but it wasn't a 
unique thing to those of us who were doing it. I 
know other guys like Vernell Fournier and Ed 
Blackwell who were doing it, but I always said 
there were drummers in New Orleans who were do¬ 
ing the same thing to varying degrees. 

RF:I know it's a difficult question, but is there any 
way you can attempt to pinpoint what that is ex¬ 

EP: That's a very difficult question. I've never 
been able to pinpoint it exactly other than to say 
that to be from New Orleans, you just have it. And 
many of the younger drummers I've heard from 
New Orleans still have it; integrating it with the 
new teachings that they've learned. For example, 

getting away from the drums for a minute, a young trumpet player 
named Wynton Marsalis is said to sound like Miles Davis despite 
his own unique style. But I still hear a lot of old New Orleans 
trumpet players in him, and he will tell you that himself. He was 
largely influenced by New Orleans trumpet players. 

RF: Who were some of your influences? 

EP: First of all, Bob Barbarin who was my first teacher in music 
school when I first started studying formally. He is the brother of a 
very famous old Dixieland drummer who played with Louis Arm¬ 
strong years ago, Paul Barbarin. But Bob was, in my estimation, a 
better musician, although he isn't as well known. Another influ¬ 
ence was Sid Catlett, who in my estimation was underrated because 
nobody gave him credit for what I consider his greatest aspect: he 
was an all-around drummer. You could hear him on all kinds of 
records. He was on bebop records, and at the same time he was 
playing the Dixieland and the Chicago swing of that era. He was an 
all-around drummer and this is what I admired about him. When I 
met him in New Orleans a few years ago and asked him what young 
drummers should do, he said to keep the time, that's the most 
important thing your instrument is made for. How well you play 
everything else doesn't mean anything if it's not in time. Conse¬ 
quently, I found that to be very true, and any time I have the occa¬ 
sion to do any kind of clinic or seminar, that is the first thing I stress 
to the young drummers. If you are not playing that instrument in 
time, you are not playing that instrument. 

I've also had some influences from guys like Chick Webb, and 
many other drummers that your readers may not know about. As 
far as the ones they do know about, there was Louie Bellson, who 
was a later influence. He is an all-time great drummer and one of 
the all-time great people. I don't know anyone who doesn't like 
Louie Bellson. In 1976, I was in Tehran with Benny Carter on a 

State Department tour. Some kids came up to my room and 

they had drum sticks and a couple of old tattered books. 
They had no drums, but they were from the university there. 
I wanted to see how well they could play, so I had them play 
on a pillow. You wouldn't believe the technique they had 
from constant practice with no drums. Now, I didn't have 
the same influence with drum companies as Louie had, so I 
told them I would speak to a friend of mine to see if I could 
get them some drums, which I did when I came back. Louie 
was about to leave town, and when he got 
back, he was ready to leave again. When I 
didn't hear from him, I thought he was too 
busy and I didn't want to bug him about it. 

Three or four months later I got a letter from 
the kids thanking me for the drums. Louie 
didn't even tell me that he had sent them. 

That's the kind of guy he is. 

Buddy Rich is also a great influence. Per¬ 
formance wise, you put Buddy way over here 
and then you start evaluating other drum¬ 
mers. With all of the bad press that Buddy has 
gotten about his attitude, he is a very sweet 
man to people he knows and respects. He's 
not vindictive, he's just straight forward. One time he was 
playing at Dantes and he took me to his trailer next to the 
dressing room and showed me this scar he has on his back 
from an operation he had on his spine. I said, "Buddy, my 
God, how do you do it? How do you sit at those drums?" He 
said, "I just forget about it, man. If I'm going to drop dead, 
I'll drop dead there." What a great man! 

Another guy who was an idol of mine in music school before 
I moved out here is Shelly Manne. It's been so good to meet 
him and get to know him and find out he is as sweet as he 
appeared to be. One of my children is named after him. This 
is where my influences come from, guys like them. Of 
course, in the bebop era, we all liked Max [Roach] and [Art] 
Blakey. Blakey is a phenomenal man. He is as strong as an 
ox. He's older than I am. I'm 58 and Art is stronger than 
three or four of us put together. It's stamina. In fact, I got 
out of the service December 10,1945 and the following week 
I went to a concert where Billy Eckstine's band was playing 
and the local band that played before 
them was Dooky Chase. Vernell Four¬ 
nier was playing drums in Dooky's band 
and Blakey was with Billy Eckstine's 
band. I heard both those drummers that 
night and said, "That's it. I'm going to 
play drums." 

RF: Did you know how to read music at 

EP: No. When I got out of the service, I 
went back to playing. Then Red Tyler, a 
very good friend of mine, convinced me 
to go to school on the G.I. Bill. I said, 

"Why do I need to go to music school? 

I'm already playing drums. I've got one 
of the best jobs in the Quarter." And he 
said, "Do you read?" "No." "Well, 
then you don't know what you're do¬ 
ing." And I said, "Hey, you're right." I 
majored in piano so I could take all the 
accompanying courses for piano and I 
minored in drums since I was already 
playing drums. To minor in drums would 
give me what I needed as far as the read¬ 
ing. We didn't have anyone on the fac¬ 
ulty to teach percussion, unfortunately, 
so I never learned to play percussion in¬ 
struments, but on my own and with the 
help of guys in the studio here, I learned 

MAY 1983 

some. I was called a lot of times on the date because there 

would be a few contemporary things in the picture and 
rather than hire another guy, they said, "Well, he can play 
those few things." I didn't even know the name of half of 
those instruments, but everyone was very patient. 

RF: You mentioned that you had the best gig in New Or¬ 

EP: At that time, the best gigs there were on Bourbon Street 
because they paid the best money and you made more tips. I 
was playing at the most popular club 
at the time which was the Opera 
House Bar. 

RF: Was that your first professional 
drum gig? 

EP: No. I played a couple around 
New Orleans before I got that job, but 
only briefly. After Harold, I joined 
Dave Bartholomew's band. He had 
asked me a long time before that to 
j oin his band, but the guy who was the 
drummer in that band was a guy 
named Dave who was like an uncle to 
me. So I said, "No, I won't take my 
'Uncle Dave's'job, man." Finally Dave Bartholomew and 
Dave had a falling out and I joined. 

RF: Were the recordings with Dave Bartholomew the first 
recordings you worked on? 

EP: Yes, the very first. My first session with Dave, he said, 
"Man, you'd better get some new cymbals because those 
you have are kind of old." So I went to a music shop to get 
new cymbals and didn't know the difference between a Zild- 
jian and anything else. I bought the newest, shiniest cymbals 
there were. I don't even remember what brand they were, 
but they were the worst sounding things you've ever heard. 
Dave said, "Get those old cymbals back up there." That was 
my first record date. I can't recall who it was for. Then, of 
course, came the Fats Domino days. 

RF: How did that come about? 

EP: We used to play a place in New Orleans called Al's Star¬ 
light Inn on London Avenue and there was another place we 
played called Club Desire on Desire Street, which, by the 
way, is the same street the play Streetcar 
Named Desire was taken from. There 
used to be a streetcar on Desire Street. So 
we'd go down and play these clubs and 
Fats would come in. He played boogie- 
woogie piano around there all the time. 
When Dave would get off the stand to go 
around and fraternize with the people, 
hustling more work for the band and so 
forth, he would have me take charge of 
the band. Sometimes the people in the 
audience would leave when the band 
would take an intermission. So when I 
was running the band, I'd let Fats play 
during the intermission so we could keep 
the people in the place. 

Then there was a club called the Chry- 
stal Club and we'd congregate in there af¬ 
ter Sunday evening football games. After 
a while, everybody would leave to go 
home and the owner said, "I've got to get 
some entertainment to keep the people in 
here," so I recommended Fats to play 
there on Sunday evenings. From that, 
Fats got some terrific musicians, includ¬ 
ing Cornelius Robinson, whose nick¬ 
name was "Toonoo." He was a tremen¬ 
dous drummer, a left-handed guy, and 
we used to kid him all the time about 



PftOto By RtCft Mjthir 

playing with "the wrong hand." 

RF: When did you start playing with Fats? 

EP: Well, I never played with him live, only on his records. Fats 
was on the tour we went out on with Dave's band, but it wasn't 
Fats' band. It was Fats Domino, Da\e Bartholomew and Profes¬ 
sor Longhair, but it was Dave's band. 

RF: Why did he use you on records then? 

EP: Because Dave's band was the nucleus of the recording musi¬ 
cians in New Orleans and we were doing all the recording. 

RF: Why do so many of the Fats Domino credits say that Cornelius 
Coleman played the drums? 

EP: That's perhaps because he was in Fats' band when they were 
travelling. After the records we did in New Orleans, I don't know 
of any records that Fats did except for one out here that I played 

RF: As far as recording tech¬ 
niques, on some of the very 
early recordings of 1949 you 
can hardly hear the drums. 

EP: Well, the majority of Fats' 
records were done in a little 
one-room studio. Most of the 
time there were only three mi¬ 
crophones involved. The engi¬ 
neer did a tremendous job get¬ 
ting sound out of that little room with three microphones; guys 
doubling up on mic's and not getting leakage of the drums. That's 
why it's so amazing now that the newer engineers need so much 
help. I think it may be a mixture of knowing how to direct the 
sound of the instruments and what microphones to use that would 
eliminate the need, or most of the need, for baffles and so forth. 
Then also, music has changed to the extent that people are playing 
louder, particularly the rock groups, and it's highly probable that 
you would need more separation in that case. But it's run over into 
where you're even doing the nice soft sessions and you find your¬ 
self leaking into the strings' mic' and you're hardly touching the 
drums. Something is wrong. It's got to be something wrong with 
the mic's or they're the wrong kind of mic', but I can't say I know 
their job. 

RF:Have you felt that people today are more interested in technol- 


ogy as opposed to the feel of 
the player? 

EP: Very much so, which 
has always been a pet peeve 
of mine. I've never yet heard 
of a record that made the 
charts because it had great 
separation! It's always mu¬ 
sic or the lyric, one or the 
other. Nowadays, there's a 
tendency where the music 
has to subjugate itself to the 
technical aspect of the re¬ 
cording, where it didn't used 
to be that way. They used to 
want to capture the sound 
they originally heard that 
made them want to record 
that particular material. 
Now, you go in the studio 
and you have to try to repro¬ 
duce that same sound, but 
within the limits of the tech¬ 
nical capabilities of the stu¬ 
dio or the engineering or the 
equipment or whatever, and 
in many ways, this is unfair. 
Of course, it's another part 
of the industry now that you 
have to adjust to, but to me, 
it's always been a very unfair situation. They're 
saying that musicians are going to be able to mail 
their parts into the studio after a while, or sit at 
home and play the part over a telephone or some 
kind of electronic hook-up that will plug you right 
into the studio, because you don't see the people 
you're playing with anymore. You seldom do a 
date anymore where everybody is in the studio at 
once. You're doing sections. Where drummers 
used to punctuate everything the brass section did, 
now the drummer just plays straight-ahead 
rhythm. The brass is playing all of these beautiful, 
good-sounding riffs, but the drummer is not play¬ 
ing any of them with them. That came about be¬ 
cause arrangers have to go in 
with the rhythm section and lay 
a rhythm track, and how can 
the drummer punctuate what 
the horn is going to play when 
the arranger hasn't written it 
yet? The best the drummer can 
do then is lay down a good 
strong beat and hope they 
dance. But drummers can't 
play any of the music anymore. 
That takes away from your creative ability. You 
can't play with the rest of the band; all you can do 
is lay down the click track for them, in a sense. 

RF: When they changed, technically, as far as 
more mic's, etc., did you find that you had to ad¬ 
just your style somewhat to be perhaps less loud 
and more defined? 

EP: Whenever you don't have total freedom of the 
approach to your instrument because you have to 
conform to the job, it's hampering your creative 
ability. "I won't try this because it's going to be 
too loud." It might be something that ordinarily 
you might want to do that would help, but it's, 
"this won't match," so it hampers your creative 
ability because it hampers your thinking. When 

MAY 1983 

MAY 1983 

they added more mic's is when it 
changed, in my estimation. A situ¬ 
ation has to be somewhat unique 
where, let's say, the drummer can 
get away from the continuous thud 
in the bass drum figure and be a lit¬ 
tle more creative. On most of the 
records you hear now, the drum¬ 
mer starts, and when the record is 
over, he's still playing the same 

RF: When did you get involved 
with Little Richard? 

EP: During the time we were doing 
the recordings in New Orleans. 

Little Richard, Sam Cooke, Etta 
James and artists like that were 
brought to New Orleans to record 
with Dave's band, much like groups 
later started going to Muscle Shoals and 
Nashville. Little Richard was brought by Spe¬ 
cialty Records. As a matter of fact, I was on 
about 95% of Little Richard's things. We did a 
whole bunch of those same things over again on an al¬ 
bum a few years back. I did all of Lou Rawls' records 
until he went back east to Philadelphia. I was doing all 
the contracting at Capitol for Dave Axlerod who had 
Lou Rawls and, at one time, Linda Ronstadt. In fact, I 
did her first record at Capitol because Dave Axlerod was 
the A&R man and I was the contractor. 

RF: Were you given total artistic and creative reign? 

EP: Pretty much. In those days, Hal Blaine and I were 
given pretty much a free reign. We were told to stay 
within the arrangement, but only as a guide to tell us 
when to start and stop. We played what felt best and what 
we thought would fit. 

RF: Has that changed? 

EP: Yes, it's changed quite a bit for the simple reason 
that there is such a sameness in music now. I think it's 
totally turned around. You don't have the total creative 
ability, although there are some exceptions, like drum¬ 
mers who are in demand now because they are terribly 
good players. They have a little more creative ability and 
a little more creative freedom, like Steve Gadd. An in- 
demand player will always have more creative freedom. 
Harvey Mason is another person, but they don't get that 
much of a chance to be creative because the idea is so 
rigid. To get creative, you have to get completely away 
from the concept. For example, Steve Gadd did some 
very beautiful things on Paul Simon's "50 Ways to Leave 
Your Lover." I don't know if that was totally Steve's 
idea, but it sounds like something he would do because he 
is very creative. 

RF: How did your association with Professor Longhair 

EP: My first meeting with Professor Longhair was at a 
place called the Caldonia Inn that was torn down and 
replaced by the Louis Armstrong Park. It was not your 
nicest place, but the Professor used to hang around there 
all the time and just play the piano for the fun of it. When 
Fats Domino went on his first tour after having his first 
hit record, "Detroit City" on one side and "Fat Man 
Blues" on the other, there was this girl in New Orleans 
named Jewel King who had a bigger record out than Fats, 
called "Three Times Seven." She refused to go on the 
tour because her husband's band wasn't going. That was 
a mistake because you haven't heard from her since. In 
place of Jewel King on that tour was Professor Longhair. 
The tour was a flop, but anyhow, the Professor was a hit 

everywhere we went. He was a bigger hit than Fats. The Professor 
had just had a record out which we did, "Stagger Lee." We went to 
Kansas City, Las Vegas and Los Angeles, but that's all I remember 
because they were the highlights of the tour, since it did so badly. 
RF: So you enjoyed live playing as well during those years? 

EP: Oh yeah, very much. Live playing is the one thing you seldom 
get on a recording because recording is a stop and go situation. 
There is no feeling to match playing live with a good band when 
everything is right. It's called magic. There is one other feeling like 
that, when you totally create something, either a song or an ar¬ 
rangement you write, and you hear a band play it back. That hap¬ 
pened to me the first time in music school. We had to write an 
arrangement and the ensemble class would play it back. To hear 
something that you totally created come back is incredible, and it 
always sounds better. It's the greatest feeling, and that is the feel¬ 
ing of total creation right there. 

RF: Have you done any live playing in recent years? 

EP: In recent years there were some concerts with Lalo Schifrin. 
We went to Israel last year with the Israeli Philharmonic. There's a 
segment in his program also, where he plays some jazz, which is his 
early roots. There were some great moments there. We also did 
some concerts as a trio, and what I liked about that was that it gave 
me a full range of playing with the symphony and then down to a 
trio. When you get a good feel out of both of those aspects, it's 
quite gratifying. Record wise, you don't get much chance to do 
that because they don't last long enough. The record has got to be 
two or three minutes and then it's over, and you still have to be 
concerned with the fact that you are recording. With the digital 
recording, you're concentrating on not making mistakes. Nobody 
wants to be the one to make the mistake so you've got to do it all 
over again. It's not like the other records where you can stop and 
start again and splice in from there. With the digital, it's going 
right on the disc while you're playing it. 

RF: Coming from your background, when you started playing 
with people like Fats Domino and Little Richard, what was your 
feeling about playing that kind of music? 

EP: It was very exciting. If I ever had a forte in this business, it's 
been to be able to play all kinds of music, so that was a new thing 
for me. At that time, when we started doing this, I wasn't playing 
rock 'n' roll and rhythm & blues, I was playing jazz in a club with 
Earl Williams or with Dave's band. We weren't playing bebop, 
although we played some bebop arrangements with Dave for the 
sake of variety, but we played contemporary ballads, Billy Eck- 
stine tunes—the popular things of the day. So to do these rock 
things was a refreshing change. arntmued m34 




by Dave Levine 

W e had done a series of sessions. Most of it was adding 
drums to 'Wendall,' the drum machine, tracks. For 
some reason Frank wanted to add live drums to the stuff 
he had already recorded for the new album. A lot of it had been 
done before I even joined the band. Anyway, for about a week I 
did a bunch of that. One night, at about 3:30 in the morning, I had 
just about run out of things to do. There was some tape left so 
Frank told me to go back into the studio and play some rock time. 
He put on his guitar and started playing a guitar progression. I 
kind of knew what he wanted so I came up with a regular rock beat 
on the hi-hat for the first section and a floor tom ride for the sec¬ 
ond. We liked the second take and that was the end of it. 

"None of us had any idea he was going to use it. It wasn't even a 
song. Later he decided to write a tune and let his daughter, Moon, 
do her thing on it. It turned out to be 'Valley Girls.' We played it 
that night in his studio and we never played it again." 

The Frank Zappa-"Valley Girls" story is in many ways typical 
of the success that has followed Chad Wackerman. He always 
seems to be in the right place at the right time with the right stuff. 
The fact that he's just 22 and has already had a lifetime of experi¬ 
ence playing with people like Bill Watrous, Leslie Uggams, Alan 
Holdsworth and Frank Zappa would tend to prove that out. 

Chad took time out from his busy schedule to be interviewed in 
his comfortable apartment in Sherman Oaks, The Valley, Califor¬ 
nia. He was dressed in an outfit that included a faded pair of pants, 
a sleeveless T-shirt and his Nikes. His hair had recently been 
trimmed but signs of the blonde streaks he added for the last Zappa 
tour were still visible. The Zappa influence and the rock 'n' roll 
image were there alright. 

But if a young drummer were to have a role model, Chad would 
be a good one. He is polite, quiet; almost shy. Yet when he sits 
down behind a set of drums he can take care of business as aggres¬ 
sively as any drummer you'd care to name. 

"A guy's got to be able to play," Chad said. "But a lot of music 
is getting along with people. On some gigs you play one show a 
night and the other 23 1/2 hours a day you're just hangin' with the 
people you're with. If you can't get along with them, forget it! 

"That's just the way I am. That's how I was raised. My dad's 
like that. He gets along with everybody. That was a trait of his that 
I wanted to acquire. I try to respect everybody and every kind of 

Respect is one commodity that's always been hard to give and 
even harder to get. It's the first thing that impresses people who 
meet Chad and it's definitely been an asset that has helped his ca¬ 
reer. As he mentioned, Chad's easy-to-get-along-with personality 
came from the way he was brought up. Everyone's family back¬ 
ground is important. In Chad's case it was "instrumental." 

To say that Chad comes from a musical family would be an 
understatement. His brothers, Bob (19) and John (17), play the 
bass and vibes and drums. Both of them are already following their 
older brother's footsteps rather closely by working with jazz trom¬ 
bonist Bill Watrous' big band. Even little brother Brooks (six) is a 
minor threat on the drums. Chad's father, Chuck, is the band di¬ 
rector at McGaugh Junior High School just up the street from the 
Wackerman house in Seal Beach, California. Besides teaching the 
kids at school and at home, Chad's father and mother, Barbara, 
spent their weekends and summer vacations taking the boys to jazz 

festivals, band competitions and drum clinics. 

"My father was a drummer and there were drums around the 
house. I think it's only natural for a kid to want to hit things," 
Chad, who started playing at age six, related. "They were there 
and I was interested. Dad taught me at first and I was a terrible 
student. I wouldn't practice and I'd play whatever I wanted to 
play. He finally ended up taking me someplace else. 

"Dad and I had a couple of lessons with Forrest Clark; he was 
'our' first teacher. When he took me to Forrest it wasn't just Dad 
showing me stuff anymore. This was a big deal. I mean, we were 
driving to this guy's studio and he was expecting me to work on this 
stuff. From then on I got a lot more serious. 

"Then Dad started taking from Allen Goodman. So I started 
taking from him, too. I really liked Allen. We went through Stick 
Control and we did some jazz things, too. Then I took from Pete 
Magadini over at the drum shop [Professional Drum Shop in Hol¬ 
lywood]. Pete got the gig with Diana Ross, so he left and Chuck 
Flores took over. I studied with Chuck for four or five years. At the 
same time I was studying with Murray Spivak. With Chuck I was 
working on independence and drumset while Murray was helping 
me with reading and snare drum technique." 

When Chad was 11 he attended his first Stan Kenton Jazz Clinic. 
He was too young to actually participate, but Kenton's drummer, 
John Von Ohlen, sat him behind the set so he could follow what 
was going on. From 1971 until Kenton's death in 1979, Chad was a 
Kenton Clinic regular. He worked his way up from the bottom 
band to the top ones during that time. 

To develop his ear and his musicianship, Chad's parents insisted 
that he also play a melodic instrument. In school orchestras, 
through high school, Chad played violin and viola. He always 
viewed the drums as his primary instrument, though, which was 
good because drums and music were just about the only things he 
was interested in. 

"I wasn't into sports and there weren't any video games. I was 
just into music; into hanging out," he confessed. "It'd be bad to 
recommend that to others. Definitely it's better to be well- 
rounded. But, if you take something seriously, whatever it is, you 
should pursue it." 

With the support and encouragement of his family, Chad pur¬ 
sued his interest in the drums. He never questioned the importance 
of practicing or the importance of taking drum lessons as being 
necessary to improve. 

"Taking drum lessons helped me a lot. I think I got a lot further 
a lot faster and I didn't hang myself up later on with bad habits. A 
lot of kids today are serious about playing but not about learning. 
I've seen guys that are self-taught who are amazing but they're an 
exception. It's not realistic for everyone to think that they can 
make it without studying. There are an awful lot of drummers out 
there," Chad said. 

Following his graduation from high school, Chad entered Cal 
State University at Long Beach. When he started at CSULB, Gor¬ 
don Peake (now with Stanley Clarke) and John Ferraro (with 
Larry Carlton and Barry Manilow) occupied the drum chairs in the 
first and second jazz bands. Like most colleges, there were enough 
good rhythm section players for three bands but only enough 
horns for one. After a frustrating year and a half, Chad's colle¬ 
giate career came to an end. 

MAY ] 933 


"John was smart; he was going for a business degree. Gordon 
actually bought a marimba and practiced on it. I knew it wasn't for 
me. I was interested in furthering my drumset ability. I wanted to 
play drumset," emphasized Chad. "I didn't know what to expect 
from college. When I got a call for a gig, I took it." 

Luckily, when John Ferraro got the job with Larry Carlton he 
called Chad to take over his gig playing with a top-40 band at Dis¬ 
neyland. The other members of that rhythm section included pian¬ 
ist Jim Cox and bass player Tom Child. Joining that band was a 
good decision that turned out to be an important career move. 
That rhythm section ended up doing a lot more than the rising 
stage on the Tomorrowland Terrace. It was Jim Cox that told 
Chad about the audition for the Bill Watrous Big Band. 

Chad's experience with high school jazz bands and at the Kenton 
Clinics helped him get the job with Watrous. His solid playing and 
open attitude helped him keep it. Watrous' band played everything 
from up-tempo burners to jazz ballads; from hot salsa to laid back 
rock 'n' roll. The rhythm section again included Cox and Child, 
and later became the Bill Watrous Quartet, recording three albums 
on the Famous Door label. 

"I had gotten my rock playing together at Disneyland. That 
rhythm section was groove conscious," Chad explained. "Bill's 
big band helped my jazz rhythm-section playing and his small 
group was even better for playing behind a soloist." 

While implying that playing music is a continuing learning proc¬ 
ess, Chad was also acknowledging that at the time when most mu¬ 
sicians are going through college, he was fortunate enough to be 
earning while he was learning. His next professor was Leslie Ug- 

"After the gig ended at Disneyland, Jim [Cox] became Leslie's 
musical director. He called Tom Child and me to do the gig. It was 
the same rhythm section as the Disneyland and Watrous bands. 
We all enjoyed each other and we were getting real tight. When 
there was a chance to groove I'd just look over at Tom and we 
knew there was groove potential. It was fun and it was financially 
good. I still work with Leslie whenever I can. 

"One of the things about that rhythm section was that it could 
play so many styles. You always play for the music regardless of 
who the people in the rhythm section are. But at the same time, that 
rhythm section was so used to working together that things seemed 
to come naturally." 

So, without four years of college to prepare him, Chad was get¬ 
ting a practical education. Then he entered his version of graduate 
school. A bass player friend told him that Frank Zappa was look¬ 
ing for a new drummer. Chad, at first, wasn't going to audition, 
but his friends convinced him that he had nothing to lose. Chad 
related his Zappa audition story: "I called Frank up and the first 
thing he asked me was if I could read; like it would do any good. I 
told him I was a pretty good reader—that I could read 'normal' 
music—but I knew his music was complex. Again he asked me if I 

Photo by Paul Jonason 

MUSIC . . . 



was a good reader. I said I was okay but that I'd like to try out 

"I went over to his house and he put up the music. It was stuff 
like I had never seen before. I told him, 'I've never seen anything 
like this.' There I was trying to sight read this music while the rest 
of the band was playing it perfectly. It was pretty obvious when I 
made a mistake. 

"Certain things I knew. There were some triplets and quintu¬ 
plets and things like that. I got up to a 3/4 measure that had eleven 
8th notes all around the drums in it. Above it was written 11:3. I 
said, 'I don't know what this is.' Frank explained it to me. I was 
surprised but he asked me to stick around. Then he gave me some 
music to practice and told me to come back the next day. 

"The next day we went through every style possible: Okay, play 
abossa, okay, now play swing, okay, now play ska. . .everything. 
Then he asked me back a third time. He wanted me to wait around 
until he heard one other player. Then he told me I got the gig." 

Of course, getting the job was only part of the battle. With the 
first tour just two months away, Chad found himself in the posi¬ 
tion of having to learn and memorize 80 Zappa compositions. 
They weren't all as hard as the "Black Page," but why would 
someone want to put himself in that position? 

"Whether you like listening to it [Zappa] or not, it is a challenge 
and it is fun to play," Chad answered. "I think I've improved a 
lot. After hearing those albums with Vinnie [Colaiuta] and Terry 
[Bozzio] it was kind of scary to jump into that. But, where else can 
you get experience playing that kind of stuff? How do you learn 
things like that? I wanted to do it." 

Following two extensive tours with Zappa's band, one in the US 
and one to Europe, Chad found himself back in LA with a lot of 
time on his hands. Zappa had decided to work on some other pro¬ 
jects and take at least a year off from touring. Chad wasn't out of a 
job but he was out of work. He did a few casuals and some demos. 
He needed something to do. He heard that British guitarist Alan 
Holdsworth was auditioning drummers for his new band that also 
featured Jeff Berlin on bass. 

"That audition was really different," said Chad. "We just 
played duos with guitar and drums. Alan just started playing and I 
tried to play something that I thought would fit. It was real out." 

The Holdsworth band, I.O.U., is a kind of jazz-rock-fusion- 
power trio. There are songs, but the music is very free form, vir- 
tuosic and spontaneous. Chad doesn't play time in the conven¬ 
tional sense. He uses a Keith Moon/Billy Cobham-like approach 


MAY 1983 

that is bombastic yet deadly accurate and musically fitting. It's like 
he's playing a constant solo, with bass accompaniment, behind a 
screaming guitar. 

Now that we were more or less up to date, the conversation 
turned to the musical differences between the diverse types of work 
Chad has done. Pop, bop and rock, after all, are not exactly what 
you would call "one-bag." There must be some reasons why Chad 
feels at home in almost any situation. 

"All of those gigs are related," he explained. "But they are all 
different, too. I'm not going to play in Bill's small jazz group like I 
do in Alan Holdsworth's band. I suppose it's unusual for a young 
drummer to be interested in so many kinds of music. I mean, if 
somebody told me that Bill Watrous' drummer was playing with 
Alan Holdsworth, I'd say, 'Huh?' If they told me that he was en¬ 
joying it I'd be even more surprised. 

"I enjoy playing so many things. I'm better at some things than 
others but I enjoy them all and I'm always trying to improve on the 
things I'm weak at. If I were going to put a band together it would 
have to have players who could play everything. One of the reasons 
that I really enjoy Frank Zappa's band is that it never gets boring. 
We learn 90 tunes before a tour and we mix them up every night. 
Frank also has visual cues. If he lifts the hair on one side of his head 
that means go into reggae. If he lifts both sides we go into ska. He 
does this at any time on any tune. That makes it fun." 

It's one thing to enjoy different kinds of music but how does a 
young player become proficient and knowledgable about such a 
wide range of musical styles? Part of it goes back to being raised in 
a musically open environment. 

"Dad was real open. I was fortunate that he was so open 
minded. As I was growing up, I never saw things as being different. 
I viewed it all as part of the same thing. Dad was the one that 
turned me on to Cream. 

"I was aware of different styles early in my development. I had 
heard Mitch Mitchell with Hendrix and I had heard Chuck Flores 
with a small jazz combo so I knew there was a difference. I would 
practice playing different ways. 

"When I grew up I liked a lot of music. I'm not just a rock 'n' 
roll kind of guy or a jazz kind of guy. I'll listen to Miles Davis and 
then Ronnie Montrose on the next record." 

More than just being open to lots of music, Chad also was aware 
of how the drums were different for each type of music. At the age 
of 11 or 12, when most kids are worried about paradiddles, Chad 
was already developing a concept of style and sound. 

MAY 1983 

"I was definitely worried about my paradiddles, too," he 
laughed. "But I was aware of sounds. I found out who John 
Guerin and Hal Blaine were. I could tell the difference but I didn't 
know how Hal Blaine got the sound he got until I saw him do a 
clinic. Then I said, 'Okay, that's what it is; single-headed drums.' 
Then I found out who Elvin Jones and Tony Williams and those 
guys were and I started buying the records they were on." 

Regardless of the style, however, Chad doesn't feel that the 
drummer's role changes too much. He's responsible for the stabil¬ 
ity of the time in any band. The style merely places creative limits 
on what is appropriate to play. Chad found it difficult to explain 
how styles of drumming are established and it was even harder for 
him to define the role of the contemporary drummer. 

"Who sets the style?" he asked. "Like, why 'spang-spang- 
alang'; why that? Because it sure caught on. We take that as jazz 
now. That's a style." 

When asked about the role of the drummer, he said: "It's hard 
to put into words. You should have good time, that goes without 
saying. If you don't, you're not doing your job and you probably 
won't have too many friends. We're all keeping time but the drum¬ 
mer has more control over it than anyone else in the band. People 
have to go his way. 

"The primary thing is to play for the music. When somebody 
hires me for a specific kind of thing I'll definitely put a limit on my 
playing. I'll try to do something that fits in with what the rest of the 
band's doing. Your playing has to fit. Your creativity depends on 
the gig. Sometimes you have to restrict yourself. Sometimes there 
aren't any stylistic limits; it's just what your taste is. Part of your 
role is to use your discretion." 

In addition to satisfying the stylistic requirements of the music, 
one of Chad's goals is to develop his own personal style. Lots of 
times a drummer's style fits so well with the band he's playing with 
that the player and the group become synonymous. What would 
the Who have been without Keith Moon, or The Police without 
Stewart Copeland, or Buddy Rich's band without Buddy Rich? 
Chad's style is to fit in with whatever band he's working with. How 
can he do that and still be recognized as an individual? 

continued on page 52 




by Scott K. Fish 


MAY 1983 

r e idea of the "child star” conjures up a dual image. On 
the one hand you have to admire the talent it took to 
become a star. On the other hand you tend to believe 
that the kid must have had "all the breaks" and led a real pam¬ 
pered and catered-to existence. At 17, Terri Lyne Carrington 
has been playing drums for 10 years with the likes of Clark 
Terry, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Illinois Jacquet, Kenny Barron, 
Buster Williams, Oscar Peterson and more. When you ’re on¬ 
stage with those musicians, you don ’tjust "get by." You either 
play or you get blown off the stage! 

Terri Lyne came into the MD office several months ago to be 
interviewed. She seemed cautious and I was wondering what in 
the world I was going to ask her. So wejust let the tape roll and 
sipped hot coffee. We both relaxed into a very revealing, candid 
and educational interview. Terri Lyne is not kidding around. 
She knows where she’s going and she’sself-assured about get¬ 
ting there. I’m sure she will. 

SF: What did you do to put yourself so far ahead of most 17- 
year-old drummers? 

TLC: I started at an early age, lucky enough to have parents 
who were very supportive. I listened. At five years old I was 
hearing music constantly. I heard it since I was born and took a 
liking to it. My father played me the kind of music that I would 
understand. I first started off with James Brown, Ben Branch, 
Jimmy McGriff, Jimmy Smith, B.B. King, and that kind of 
music. I liked it as a child. That's the first music where I played 
to the records. It just kept developing on from there. 

SF: Were the kids you hung out with musicians? 

TLC: Not too many of my friends are interested in jazz music 
like that. It's a separate life for me. As far as the business goes, 
I'm always around older musicians and I've adapted to that. 
When I'm with my friends, it's different. 

SF: When I was 17, the people I was in bands with were all my 
age. The people you’re playing with are in their 30's, 40's .. . 
TLC: And older. Old enough to be my father, and grandfather 
in some cases! But, I didn't really even have a high school band 
that I could play with. I went through high school and half the 

people didn't 
even know I 
played. They had 
a marching band 
that wasn't very 
good. I didn't 
even want to bother with that. I was at a different level. I really 
didn't want to go backwards. I just went up to Berklee College 
of Music once a week. 

SF: Why did you choose drums? 

TLC: Some people say that it was because my grandfather 
played the drums. His name was Mat Carrington. He played 
with people like Chu Berry, Fats Waller, Duke Ellington occa¬ 
sionally, and "Baby" Dodds. My father also played drums a 
little bit. He plays tenor saxophone. So, I started out on alto 
when I was five and then I lost my two front teeth. So, I couldn't 
play alto anymore. My grandfather's drums were in our base¬ 
ment. I asked my father to set them up one day after I lost my 
teeth. I just started hitting on them and never stopped. I guess 
he thought it was a drag to bother setting the drums up because 
of the noise. He didn't really expect anything. As a matter of 
fact, when I was born, he wanted a son to continue in music. So, 
when I was a girl, I guess he figured ... 

SF: Oh no! 

TLC:Yeah. When I started playing saxophone, I had an ear for 
music. I started playing riffs and I would bend the notes to be in 
tune. When I switched to drums, I could keep time immediately 
after I picked up the sticks. 

SF: Playing along with records? 

TLC: Yeah. My father showed me how to hold the sticks and 
the basics when I was seven. Then I went on to a beginner's 
teacher, John Willen. Then to Keith Copeland, who is probably 
one of my biggest influences. He had the patience to deal with a 


youngster. I was about 10 or 11. 

SF: Were you into drum lessons at that time or was it a drag? 
TLC:I enjoyed it. But to develop somebody at such a young age 
takes patience. Keith really developed me. Then I studied with 
Tony Tedesco who brought my reading together. The technical 
aspect of drums. The polishing of it all was Alan Dawson, who 
was my last teacher. I started studying vibes with him a couple 
of months ago. Now I'm going to attend Berklee, to see what 
they have to offer. Alan Dawson is one of the greatest teachers 
and drummers in the world. He's a monster. I would highly 
suggest to anybody who wants to clean themselves up and get all 
their frustrations out, that Alan will get all their frustrations 
out. He'll give you all the mechanics to work with. If you have 
the talent it'll be able to come out more. He's really a great 
teacher and person. 

SF: How long did you study drums with Alan? 

TLC:Two or two-and-a-half years. 

SF: How had you changed after that time? 

TLC:I was thinking much more musically in my soloing. He's a 
stickler on the form in tunes and knowing the music. Not just 
playing the drums, but knowing everything that's going down 
on the stage. That really helped me out. I played in form but not 
as musical, so you can hear the song through the drum solo. 
Also, he developed my chops more. He made them cleaner and 
more relaxed. He's a "polisher" teacher. I wouldn't suggest 
people go to him who aren't already on a certain level, where 
they can take what he's going to give you and do what they want 
with it. I wouldn't say he's a beginner's teacher at all. He's a 
person you go to after you know what you want to do, but 
you're having a little trouble getting it out. 

SF: How would you suggest a drummer learn song forms? 

TLC: You have to know the tunes. Piano players and horn 
players all know the changes and the tunes. But, sometimes 
drummers don't have to know all that. So, it's important to 
listen and know all the tunes and the melodies. Hum them in 
your head while you're playing or soloing. 

SF: Did you go through a time where you memorized songs? 
TLC: Right. Not note for note. For instance, Alan would have 
you hum a song and have you read and switch 8ths while you're 
reading out of Stick Control or something. Then you'd have to 
hum the song out loud and solo while you're singing the song. 
That lets him know that you know the song. You're thinking 
more musically. That's one way to do it. Solo and hum the 
tunes out loud. And know tunes. Pick up a fake book. If you 
see a tune that you don't know —learn it! 

SF: Or buy records and do a lot of studying? 

TLC: Right. Also, listen to musical drummers like Max Roach. 
SF: The way Max plays is deceiving. If you've been used to 
listening to the Buddy Rich school of drumming, what Max 
does sounds simple, until you try to play that way. 

TLC:What Max does is harder. He plays so much more musical 
instead of just a lot of chops or playing around the drums. I 
think a lot of drummers don't really try to make melodies out of 
the drums. They try to see how fast they can go and loud and 
strong. But, Max gets songs out of the drums. He's the only 
drummer I know who does it that well. 

SF: How did you get in a position to meet all the great musicians 
you've been with? 

TLC: I live in Boston and there were some good clubs about 
seven years ago: The Jazz Workshop, Paul's Mall, Sandy's 
Jazz Revival, Lulu White's, Tinkers, The Lion's Club. All 
those clubs brought in the prestigious jazz people that were 
around. I would just go and see them. My father knows a lot of 
musicians, so he would introduce me to them and tell them that 
I was playing. They just asked me to sit in sometimes. I was 
fortunate enough to be around at the right time. They were 
intrigued, I guess, to see what I could do because I was so 

SF: Wasn't Rahsaan Roland Kirk the first person you sat in 












’JAY 1983 


TLC:Right. When I was five I sat in with him. I sang and shook 
the tambourine on "Volunteered Slavery." 

SF: Who was the first person you sat in with on drumset? 

TLC: Probably Rahsaan or Clark Terry. I don't think Clark 
was the first, but he was one of the first. Rahsaan came to town a 
lot. I sat in with Clark when I was 10 years old. He took me to 
Witchita, Kansas to do the Witchita Jazz Festival. This was 
Clark Terry's East Coast/West 
Coast Jazz Giants which consisted 
of Louie Bellson on drums, Jimmy 
Rowles on piano, George Duvivier 
on bass, Garnett Brown on trom¬ 
bone, A1 Cohn on tenor sax and 
Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis on tenor 

SF: Did you sit in on Louie's 

TLC: Yeah, that was an experi¬ 
ence. Ten years old? To tackle 
Louie Bellson's drums? Double bass drums? 

SF: Could your feet reach the pedals? 

TLC: Yeah, but I had to sit on the end of the seat. They 
reached—but just barely. But, that was always something that I 
had on my side. I could always adapt to other people's drums 
very easily. 

SF: When you're five years old, how do you adapt to the size of 
a professional size drumset? 

TLC: Well, I didn't start playing drums until I was seven, but 
that's pretty small, right? The first set I had was my grandfa¬ 
ther's old set with a 28" bass drum. The bass drum was bigger 
than I was! But, I figured out a way. I'd lean against the seat 
instead of actually sitting on it. But, playing Louie Bellson's 

drums was an experience. I don't think people could 
really see me. The set was covering me up because I 
was so small. 

Also, Illinois Jacquet was an early influence. My 
three earliest influences, as far as encouragement, 
were Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Illinois and my Dad. All 
those people played horn and that's what I wanted to 
play. One night after hearing Illinois, I said, "I want 
to play the saxophone." Those three really made me 
interested in music. 

SF: Did those people help you with life philosophies? 
TLC: In later years. I can't really remember the con¬ 
versations we had when I was five or six years old. But, 
in later years a bunch of musicians talked about all 
kinds of stuff. Very encouraging. They'd tell me 
things to keep me going. 

SF: How is it going to be at Berklee? People attend 
Berklee to get to where you already are professionally. 
TLC:I'm not going to Berklee to learn how to play the 
drums. I'm going for writing, arranging and all the 
technicalities that I don't have together. I've had pi¬ 
ano lessons, but I haven't put the time into the piano 
that I have on the drums. I started studying vibes with 
Alan. I'm going to Berklee to try to get that together because I 
want to be able to play a melodic instrument so I can write. 
Eventually I want to create a style of my own in writing too. 

SF: Do you have goals set for yourself? 

TLC: Well, for the next four years I'm going to be in school. I 
want to get a degree. I just want to get up some playing experi¬ 
ence during summers, weekends, vacations, school or what¬ 
ever. I want to get experience that I don't 
have. After that four years I want to 
eventually have my own group and fol¬ 
low in the lines of Art Blakey, Elvin 
Jones and Max. Art Blakey has The Jazz 
Messengers. Roy Haynes has The Hip 

SF: What about the band on your re¬ 
cord? George Coleman on tenor, Buster 
Williams on bass and Kenny Barron on 

TLC: That's not my band. I play a lot 
with Kenny and Buster when I get gigs. 
SF: How did you line up those musicians? 
TLC: They hadn't even heard me the first time I played with 
them. They were playing with Ron Carter and I would go see 
them. I really loved Kenny and Buster's playing. And Ben 
Riley! Phew! I got a gig at Sandy's Jazz Revival in Boston to 
bring in whoever I wanted. I asked my father if I could use 
them. He called them up and asked them if they would come. 
They said, "Sure." Then he called Frank Foster. At the time I 
was 14. 

SF: They didn't give your father a hard time? 

TLC: It was a good gig. I was real excited and I wanted to get 
good musicians. 


by Laura flriedman 


Max Roach with a young Terri Lyne Carrington. 

SF: That's amazing. Your Dad makes a phone call to three of 
the best jazz musicians in the world, says, 'Hi, my 14-year-old 
daughter has a jazz gig. Can you make it?" And they do. 

TLC: They knew that I was playing. It's not like I called them 
up cold. I don't know why they came! I don't know why a lot of 
people asked me to sit in. But, it happened and I'm very grate¬ 
ful. "Youth" had a lot to do with why I wasn't afraid of asking 
or of doing things. When you're young, you don't know. 

SF: You never felt intimidated by those musicians? 

TLC: Not really. Now I start to feel more intimidated than be¬ 
fore. Those are a bunch of great guys. I think I was lucky to 
have so many friends in the business. These people aren't just 
good musicians that I play with—they're friends too. And I 
really have the utmost respect for them. 

I went to Chicago last May and played at Governor State 
University with Kenny and Buster. That was the first time I 
traveled to play without my parents. It was nice. We did a con¬ 
cert and then we did some clinics. 

SF: What kind of audience usually attends your clinics? 

TLC: When they set up clinics they try to capitalize on my age 
and try to get younger people interested. A lot of my clinics are 
at high schools. I've done some college clinics too. I like doing 

SF: What areas do you cover? 

TLC:It depends on what the audience wants. I ask the audience 
to ask questions, and a lot of times, when you have a young 
audience, they don't want to ask questions. They're afraid to or 
whatever. The younger the audience, the harder it is. It's hard 
for them to relate sometimes and be open enough to ask ques¬ 
tions. I ask them to come up and play and they don't want to. 
But, I cover rudiments and rituals tor 
beginners. I read a little from books 
and show different concepts that Alan 
has shown me. I demonstrate some 
funk, different Latin beats, jazz. I ask 
them what they want me to do. 

SF: How did you like high school? 

TLC: To be perfectly honest, since the 
first day of freshman year, I couldn't 
wait to get out. I wanted to be around 
music and musicians. In my high school 
the average student was into rock and 
punk rock. That wasn't me. I just wanted to be away from it. I 
graduated in three years instead of four. I doubled up on my 
classes just to get out. I'm glad I did. 

I'm glad I went through it though because it was a good aca¬ 
demic school. I was in the top of the class. I was in accelerated 
programs. That's another reason why I could get out early. I 
was an "A" student. See, whatever I do, I like to give it my best. 
I didn't love school. A lot of people say, "Wow! She gets all 
'A's. She must be in the books all the time." That wasn't it. I 
just always wanted to do my best in whatever I did. I didn't like 
going home and doing homework, but I made myself do the 
minimum that I could to get what I wanted to get. I could've put 
more into it and gotten more out of it. But, I got the grades. 

SF: Where did you learn to discipline yourself like that? 

TLC: I don't know. It's just in me, I guess. It's not really a 
discipline, it's just a desire to be the best. Not the best. I'd settle 
for top ten! 

SF: Do you feel part of that came from your parents? 

TLC: Yes. They want to do the best at what they do too. I think 
most people should want to do their best. People who work 

want to do the best at their job 
so they'll get a promotion or 
money. It's the same with what¬ 
ever else you do. Give it your 

SF: Did you get criticism from 
your peers because you were be¬ 
coming a successful player? 
TLC: Nobody tried to drag me 
down. Whatever I got was en¬ 
couragement, but a lot of the 
people didn't know what I was 
into at school and in my day-to-day life. I didn't talk about it 
that much or dwell on it. They encouraged me whenever they 
did talk about it because it wasn't anything that they had to get 
jealous of. Half the people—they didn't think of it anyway. 
"Jazz? Drums?" 

SF: Who would you go to then in times of frustration or insecu¬ 
rity for heart-to-heart talks? 

TLC:My father and mother. All my conversations in that area 
have been with them. There are a few students over at Berklee 
that I can talk to. But my father and mother understand me 
better than anybody else. 

SF: How did your album come about? 

TLC: We wanted a better form of publicity for me to get jobs. 



INN 1 

Guidelines For 

The scene: Lobby interior of your basic, 
sprawling Hotel/Motel complex. 

The time: 4:00 A.M. 

The young, blonde cherub smiles innoc¬ 
uously from her upholstered aluminum 
perch behind the front desk, then slowly 
slides along the formica surface to the 
awaiting group of yawning, disheveled 
strangers invading her quiet, uninter¬ 
rupted world of late-night lethargy. 

She appears unforgivably fresh, consid¬ 
ering the hour, her bright, shining eyes 
peering over her wire-rimmed, tinted, pre¬ 
scription lenses, combined with the ever¬ 
present aroma of innumerable sticks of 
Juicy Fruit. The cherub produces a re¬ 
served flash of company hospitality and 
eyes the group critically. 

"Good evening, can I help you?" 

Eric Moonchild, drummer, band leader, 
and equipment owner, heaves a deep 
breath of weary surrender and speaks 
through a cloud of nicotine and bitter java. 

"Yeah, hi, I'm Eric Moonchild of Eric 
and the Bullweavels. The band that starts 
in your Apple Crisp Lounge tomorrow 
night. We'd like to check in, please." 

The tight, semi-professional smile sud¬ 
denly falls from her face, and her small, 
cosmetically induced frame shifts ner¬ 
vously from her protective, oak wood sol¬ 
ace. After a second of deep thought and 
conviction, she may attempt another wry 
grin and grab several registration forms. 

"Okay. But there is one thing. We 
didn't expect you 'till tomorrow. I'm 
afraid your rooms aren't cleaned. We can 
only provide two for tonight. The band 
rooms. The others will be cleaned by to¬ 
morrow morning. That okay?" 

Not likely. Eric and the boys have just 
completed a twelve-hour, cross-country 

by Kevin B. Mohror 

TheTraveling Drummer 

jaunt across two time zones and are in seri¬ 
ous, dire need of sleep. 

"We try to make them as comfortable as 
possible. They don't have televisions, but 
have good sturdy rollaway beds. No doors 
on the bathrooms and no windows, but 
there are several attractive lamps and we 
always provide plenty of towels." 

"The, uh, contract state three rooms..." 

"I know, and I'm terribly sorry, but as I 
have stated, they're not clean." 

"Can I speak with someone in charge 

"I'm sorry, but I'm the only one here 
tonight. The assistant manager will be in at 
nine tomorrow morning if you'd like to 

"And there is just no possibility of get¬ 
ting another room, just for tonight?" 

"I'm sorry, the other rooms are for pay¬ 
ing guests of the hotel. We try to keep the 
band people together, on a different floor. 
Far, far away from our other guests." 

"Okay, then I'd like to rent a room for 
the evening ..." 

"I'm sorry, we don't rent to undesir¬ 

Okay, so the above scenario sounds a bit 
unrealistic. Yet, between the lines and un¬ 
derneath all the schtick, there lies, for 
those of us who make our livelihood on the 
road, an undeniable vein of truth and legit¬ 
imacy, one that, chances are you either 
have experienced, or probably will. 

This article has resulted through many 
years of drumming with various bands 
throughout the Midwest and Canada and 
could quite easily be applied to any one of 
a number of music trade journals. How¬ 
ever, selfish as it may appear, my main 
concern remains with drummers carving 
out a living on the road. 

There are literally thousands of us who 
can claim this rather unorthodox lifestyle, 
moving regularly from town to town, club 
to club, hotel to hotel. And in order for us 
to keep our lightning clean chops and visu¬ 
ally entertaining demeanor, our off-stage 
lives must be pleasant, or at least tolerable. 

What follows is not meant, by any 
stretch of the imagination, to be condes¬ 
cending or judgmental. And quite obvi¬ 
ously it is also meant, not so much for the 
multi-million-dollar arena act, but to the 
thousands of us who chisel out our exist¬ 
ence in hotel/motel lounges and show¬ 
rooms across the land. 

Before progressing further, let's delve 
into our memory banks and relive one of 
our more unenviable, though unfortu¬ 
nately all too frequent, experiences. The 
hotel check-in, where with the very best of 
intentions, you attempt to acquire accom¬ 
odations at an establishment other than 
the one where you are working. (Your 
rooms aren't provided in the contract.) 
What follows, once asked the highly intru¬ 
sive question, "You're here for two weeks, 
so what do you do?" is the total oblitera¬ 
tion of the once bright, accomodating 
smiles and warm hospitality. Once discov¬ 
ering your occupation, you can be ex¬ 
pected to receive streaks of flairing conde¬ 
scension and an all too spontaneous list of 
house rules and regulations. 

This experience leaves me hurt, frus¬ 
trated and always asking myself, "What in 
the world is so degrading about being a 
working musician?" followed closely by 
the ever popular, "I am a human being 

Undoubtedly, we are of a different breed 
in regards to working hours, waking 

hours, and general variences in timetables 
and priorities. But the bottom line remains 
that we too are of human stock, use legal, 
green currency, and thus should be allotted 
the same courtesies and gratuities. So why, 
then, are we so often treated not unlike an 
abtrusive form of communicable plague 
when checking in or out of a hotel? 

Let's refer to a fictional scenario, one 
built upon fragments of fact and past oc- 
curance which may start the ball rolling in 
uncovering the basis of our plight. For the 
moment, allow yourself to suffer the indig 
nity of Hotel Manager, Assistant Man 
ager, Front Desk Manager, Bar Manager, 
and the like. 

Mr. Jake T. Moneybags (well known lo¬ 
cal multi-millionaire) decides to build his 
own hotel. Five stories of glass and con¬ 
crete, brick and mortar, its spacious inte¬ 
rior laden in an array of multi-colored car¬ 
peting, wallpaper, furnishings, and office 

He hires his staff, everyone from Gen¬ 
eral Manager to custodian, then sits back 
awaiting the inevitable parade of booking 
agents who will accost the lounge in an ef¬ 
fort to acquire an exclusive on that trea¬ 
sured "room." 

The agent who presented the most at¬ 
tractive bid is given the tentative go ahead 
and books "Binky Tom and the Star- 
lighters," a six-piece, top-40 show band 
into the new room. After the usual con¬ 
tractual negotiations, the bottom price is 
met and they receive five rooms on the first 
floor. The band meets with the manage¬ 
ment, everyone checks in, and contem¬ 
plates a two-week success. 

Binky Tom and the boys have a perfectly 
splendid time and bring the house down 
every night. Money is made for the room, 

CrMliriunj i?r? jfii iRt* 


MAY 1933 

Photo Oy Lme Wales 

Mn any conversation with Eli Konikoff, 

Mthe word "human"pops up with the 
M regularity of sign posts on a highway. 
His own, highly personal odyssey has 
taken him around the world, yet his mem¬ 
ory is marked less by a spirit of place than a 
spirit of people; those he has influenced 
and been influenced by. Music is a thing 
alive rather than a mere livelihood. For 
him, human contact and communication 
are the threads that unify his musical life. 
His willingness to share his experience and 
transmit the inspiration he has received 
from others to younger players, reflects his 
deep understanding of the long chain of 

JD: How did you get started playing 

EK: Actually, I started with the trumpet in 
the fourth grade, you know, when they of¬ 
fer the kids an instrument. I played trum¬ 
pet for two years, which gave me a basic 
melodic training. My brother, who also 
plays trumpet and was much better at it 
than I was, would come in and practice at 
the same time. He'd make me feel inade¬ 
quate because he was so much better than 
me, so in 7th grade I changed to drums. 
One reason for that was, I think, because it 
was the early '60s when rock really started 
coming out and I saw a lot of drummers 
playing rock. 

I was brought up pretty much on the big 
band era drummers; Gene Krupa and 
Buddy Rich were a big influence, and my 
family was heavily involved in big band 
music. My father is a Dixieland trombone 
player. He's had his own group for 30 
years, so Dixieland and big band music 
was pretty much what we listened to. 
When those bands came to town, we would 
go to see them. 

JD: Who did you study drums with? 

EK: My first teacher was Jack Shilling, a 
drummer in Buffalo, and he really started 
out with all the basic stuff, you know, the 
rudiments. Not only that, but also reading 
music out of books and how to play the 
trap set, as well. Jack had a real great feel 
for big band-type stuff. 

Then later on, after about four or five 
years, I took a break from lessons. Then I 
went to Johnny Roland who was the head 
percussionist with the Buffalo Philhar¬ 
monic and an unbelievable teacher. 
Johnny taught great independence and a 
reading ability. He was unbelievable. 

JD: Did you major in music when you 
went to school? 

EK: Music was the strongest influence all 
through school mostly because there was 
music throughout my family. 

JD: How did you become involved with 
Spyro Gyra? 

EK: Many years of prayer [laughs]. No, it 
was a long time. I had been playing on the 
road for eight or nine years, playing with 
different groups, traveling and hoping to 
make enough contacts to get with some¬ 
thing that would become successful. I'd 

left Buffalo for that purpose. Musically, 
Buffalo is good if you're a local musician. 
You could play every night of the week in a 
different bar, because they've got a lot of 
bars. But as far as going anywhere, doing 
anything big, writing your own music and 
performing it, Buffalo wasn't the town to 
do that in. So I left and started touring, 
hopefully to meet the people or group who 
would have an opening. The whole thing 
was so ironic because after years and years 
of doing that, I got a phone call to go back 
to Buffalo and play with Spyro Gyra. 

I met the guys in the bars and I played 
with them when they were making like 
eight dollars a man for a night, six or seven 
nights a week. I left the band for a while 
because I needed to make more money, but 
I got called back. So, I just met everybody 
through playing in the bars in Buffalo. 

JD: How did your approach to playing 
change as you adjusted to arenas from 

EK: Each place has its own unique prob¬ 
lems, so you have to take each as it comes. 
It takes an adjustment of touch and tech¬ 
nique. The judgement you use in each 
place goes back to your own experience in 
playing and realizing what your job is in 

the band and what it should sound like in 
the mix. 

JD: What is your concept of the drum¬ 
mer's role in a band like Spyro Gyra? 

EK: It's the heaviest position to be in, in 
this type of band. It's the hardest job be¬ 
cause, to a certain degree you're directing 
and controlling the other musicians. 
You're a cohesive part of the other mem¬ 
bers as they're playing. It's a very hard po¬ 
sition because it's very demanding physi¬ 
cally as well as playing wise. By that I mean 
the physical aspect is so important because 
our shows are around 1 1/2 hours long and 
the energy level is passed real quick. 

JD: There's a lot of percussion used in 
Spyro Gyra. What is your goal as the 
drummer playing against it? 

EK: That's a good subject to talk about— 
drummers and percussionists. They should 
work together, I feel, in very clean, ar¬ 
ranged parts. There should be room for ex¬ 
pressing yourself but it should be like a 
sixth sense. In other words, you should 
know when something's going to happen 
so you don't start playing parts over each 
other and playing too busy. I feel that a 
good drummer and a good percussionist 

works well, and they're both "tasty" when 
they both know what they're doing and 
know the skeleton of what's going down so 
they can work off that. Once they get com¬ 
fortable, they have that sixth sense. You 
just pick it up. When he's doing a fill, you 
don't, or you'll be stepping on each other 
and it gets too muddy. I like everything ar¬ 

JD: Do you consider yourself a jazz drum¬ 

EK: No, I don't. I consider myselfanr&b, 
funk and rock drummer. There have been 
a lot of influences, but I think what I play is 
a more r&b type of drumming. 

JD: What do you think about or concen¬ 
trate on while you're playing? 

EK: I don't focus on any one point, be¬ 
cause if I get focused on one point, I lose 
the concept and the feel of everything else. 
The drummer should just "be there," but 
not locked into any one idea or thought. 
It's just a total immersion into everything 
that's happening at the time. 

JD: What is your approach to playing a 

EK: You immediately become a lot more 
sensitive because it's a lighter tune and it 
calls for a different kind of sensitivity. I ap¬ 

proach it with that kind of head. 

JD: Do you ever use brushes? 

EK: Not in a live show, but in the studio, 
yes. I think it's becoming a lost art. I enjoy 

JD: What grip do you use? 

EK: Matched grip. I was taught traditional 
for the rudiments and all that, and for big 
band playing, but the power and speed you 
get from matched grip just can't compare, 
as far as I'm concerned. Especially for the 
type of music I'm playing. 

JD: You've updated your set recently. 

EK: That's right. Recently, we've been to 
Japan four or five times and the band is 
very popular there. So, Yamaha was inter¬ 
ested in working with me. They gave me 
sets to try out but they were not to my par¬ 
ticular liking so, through negotiating, they 
built a set to my specifications based on the 
Recording Series. All heavy-duty hard¬ 
ware. Even so, I'm breaking hi-hat and 
bass pedal footboards. I'm an animal 
when I play. I break rims and shatter syn¬ 
thetic sticks. Sometimes, the band's sound 
level gets pretty loud and the demand on 
me to keep up the volume is intense. Espe¬ 
cially in arena situations, it becomes pain¬ 
ful, I have to play so loud. 

by Jim Dinella 
& Janet Ricotta 




MAY 1983 


JD: Does this affect your choice of drum 
and cymbal sizes? 

EK: Sort of. I have a 24" bass drum, 8", 
10", 12" and 16" power toms, a 16"floor 
tom mounted on the bass drum and an 18" 
floor tom on the side. That's all the drums, 
except for a 6 1/2" snare. I use all Zildjians. 
A 20" ride, an 18" heavy crash, and an 18" 
Swish. I break these all the time and I'm 
considering going to larger sizes and 
heavier weights. I'd like to say that Lenny 
DiMuzio is the greatest and he's always 
right there when I need him. I almost for¬ 
got to mention my 15" New Beat hi-hats. 
JD: What do you look for in a set of 

EK: I look for a wood sound. I like a real 
thick wood shell to give me a real big, deep, 
low sound, which I like. 

JD: What do you look for and listen for in 
a cymbal? 

EK: The tone, especially in the ride cym¬ 
bal. I look for a cymbal that doesn't build 
up too much overtone. When I do the bell 
work I want to hear a clean sound without 
too much overall buildup. In crashes, I like 
different sounds, a high-pitched crash ring 
and sustaining cymbals that have just the 
right duration that I want. You have to 

work with a cymbal to get to know its char¬ 
acteristics; how long it's going to be there 
when you hit it. 

JD: When you record, do you use your 
own drums or the drums that are already in 
the studio? 

EK: That's an aspect I've been lucky at. 
I'm always allowed to use my own drums 
which means there's more money involved 
because of taking the time in a studio to set 
them up. You have to pay the studio time 
while you do all that, so I'm really in a 
good situation that I can use my own 
drums. We spend anywhere from 10 to 14 
hours getting drum sounds and in a lot of 
situations it can run into a lot of money, 
but, you know, it's very important. 

JD: The same drums and the same set-up? 
EK: No, I use one bass drum in the studio. 
The same exact set-up, except I don't use 
the 24" bass drum. 

JD: Do you alter your tuning for record¬ 

EK: I don't like to alter the settings for the 
studio. I just put new heads on a day or two 
before so they stretch out and get a nice 
melodic sound. Then I tune them the way I 
want them to sound. You know, every¬ 
thing I do is monitored by our producer 
who is a drummer, too, so he knows me 
and we work well together. 

JD: What is your opinion on muffling the 

EK: A lot of drums are over muffled, over 
taped and stuffed. They try to eliminate a 
lot of ring and overtones that are just 
there. I believe in a little tape and a little 
reduction of overtones, but not too much 
muffling. I like a live drum which will ex¬ 
plode when you hit it, and when you hit it 
lightly, it will respond properly to your 
touch and technique. A lot of drums don't 
respond at all, even if you really lay into 
them. A drum should respond to you for 
the situation you are in. 

JD: So, you're not into putting pillows or 
whatever inside the drums? 

EK: No. I mean, I have blankets in my bass 
drum, but as for really heavy muffling, I'm 
not into that. The bass drum is a very 

tricky instrument, and it depends a lot on 
what situation you're in and what kind of 
sound you want. 

JD: Tell us something about the cage 
around your drums. 

EK: The cage I'm using now is a design 
that we never got to complete. It was going 
to be enclosed in plexiglass to give the 
drums a better sound on stage, a sound 
with more definition. The sound wouldn't 
leak out into the other microphones on 

JD: What is your opinion on reading mu¬ 

EK: I think that reading music is a very 
necessary part of being a drummer and a 
musician. Every drummer should know 
how to read music or have experience read¬ 
ing. It's up to each one of us to keep our 
reading chops up. It's very hard when 
you're away from it for a long time—you 

have to start all over again. But it's very 

Studio musicians in New York are very 
proficient because they read every day, but 
when I'm in this situation where I travel 
eight months a year, I get no chance to read 
music or practice on my drums. When 
tunes are brought in for Spyro Gyra, the 
artist brings us a sheet with chord changes 
and maybe some kicks and hits. I read off 
that, but they don't really write drum 
parts, so I'm allowed to make up my own 
parts and sections and I just follow the 
chord changes. 

JD: So there aren't any set charts? 

EK: No, not with Spyro Gyra. There are 
certain sections that I have to follow, but 
no explicit drum parts. Everything is pretty 
much what I feel, or what everybody feels. 
JD: Are you realizing the musical goals 
you set yourself with this band? 

EK: Yes. Over the years with this band, 
I've definitely seen myself grow and I feel 
that my chops have gotten better. I never 
used to be a soloist. They've given me a 
feature spot and I've had to fill that spot. 
I've learned how to do it. 

JD: How do you think about soloing? 

EK: I don't stick to the tune. I try and for¬ 
mulate ideas as I go and grow with it—take 
it someplace and bring it back. I state a 
theme for a while, then go off into what I 
feel; whatever flows out of me. I try to 
make it fluid rather than jerky; no abrupt 
changes. It's not as scary now, because the 
more you do something, the more com¬ 
fortable you get. Same with the studio. 
When I used to be in the studio I wouldn't 
know what to expect or how to approach 
it. Through the years, I've gotten better be¬ 
cause I've relaxed due to my previous ef¬ 
forts and experience. A feature spot for the 
drummer gives him a chance to express 
himself, but I don't think he should get 
carried away. I've seen too many drum¬ 
mers go on for too long. 

JD: I know that drummers who are just 
starting to play with bands have a tendency 
to play fills as fast and as loud as they can. 
Your fills are very tasty. Do you have any 
helpful hints that you can share? 

EK: Well, it's just from being an accompa¬ 
niment player while the musicians are in 
front soloing. Try doing just the part 
you're supposed to do, stick to your role, 
keep it tasty and sensitive. 

JD: When you play, do you tend to play 
ahead of the beat, right on the beat, or be¬ 
hind it? 

EK: My concept is to play a nice big pocket 
for the type of tune we're doing, whether 
it's Latin, funk or a swing section. I like it 
to feel not on top, yet not behind the beat, 
but right on the beat with a fat feeling. The 
only other way I can explain it is that it's 
got to feel good. 

JD: When you see other drummers play, 
what do you look for? 

EK: I watch their coordination, the way 
they move, the coordination between their 


MAY 1953 

hands and legs. I don't sit there and try to 
analyze what they're doing technically. I 
just watch and try to pick up what they're 
putting out. I don't like when people watch 
me and think that I'm doing this beat or 
that combination. Don't analyze me, man! 
Just feel what I'm doing! I don't look at 
other musicians that way. I never try to an¬ 
alyze, so I hope they don't analyze me, ei¬ 

JD: I noticed on the Carnaval album that 
you're listed as co-author of the tune 
"Dizzy." How did your writing come 

EK: Well, through a lot of encouragement 
from the people in the band, especially the 
keyboard player and my roommate, Tom 
Schuman. When I had ideas for different 
beats or melodies, I'd put them on tape 
and play the tape for him. Or I'd sing cer¬ 
tain rhythm lines or melody lines to him 
and he'd help me write them down. I'd 
keep these ideas in mind and come up with 
a few more bits and pieces, and he'd col¬ 
laborate with me. We ended up writing 
several tunes together, so Tom helped me 
realize that I have the ability to write, and 
helped write them down so they can be 

JD: Do you plan to continue composing? 
EK:Oh, definitely. It's something that I've 
only just started. 

JD: How do you react to someone saying, 
"You're only a drummer"? 

EK:I laugh because it's either a joke or it's 
not worth even getting mad about. It's 
something that they either understand or 
they don't, so I usually just laugh. 

JD: Do you feel a drummer should know 
more than just drums, such as other per¬ 
cussion instruments or even piano? 

EK: I definitely think that the drummer 
should have some training in melody. 
When I was in college, all drummers were 
required to take a minor in piano. I think 
that it's important and necessary. 

JD: What is it like being on tour and play¬ 
ing with a group like Spyro Gyra? 

EK: It's wonderful. It's great. This is my 
dream come true. I always wanted to be 
successful, to play in different countries 
where I can't speak the language, but can 
communicate with the music. I always 
wanted to be able to write music and per¬ 
form it for people all over the world. It's a 
dream come true, but it is starting to wear 
me out a little. We don't take much time 
off. I would like to be able to take a little 
more time off for writing or just to be at 
home, relaxing. 

JD: Your touring schedule for 1982 was 

EK: Yeah, 1982 was the busiest year for the 
band out of the last five. As far as road 
work is concerned, travel abroad through 
Japan and Europe, I'd say it's been our 
best year. We worked more jobs than in 
previous years. Financially, it's been very 
good. The band's music, everybody's indi¬ 
vidual writing and careers, all seems to be 

growing, so I feel pretty good. Tired but 

JD: Have you been touring so much partly 
as a result of the economic crunch and the 
necessity for keeping the band in the public 
eye without a lot of record company sup¬ 
port, dollar-wise? 

EK: The company has other groups that 
are top priority. We aren't their main con¬ 
cern as far as promotion. When an album 
is released, to coordinate advertising and 
radio spots for concerts and pushing the 
album is the company's concern. If you 
don't get that push, then touring has to 
supplement advertising, or lack of it. We 
tour nine months a year to make up for the 
lack of promotion. 

JD: Is there a strategy behind your touring 


EK: We work colleges, night clubs, any¬ 
thing, from 500-seat clubs to 10,000-seat 
arenas. The idea is to work everywhere. 
The idea is to work. 

JD: Are there things that you do regularly 
before you play? 

EK: I don't eat for four hours before I 
play, because I can't play if I do. I've seen 
guys eat a big meal and then go on stage 
and play. But I don't eat. I try to stay light; 
do a few exercises just to warm up a little 
bit. Definitely, the better physical shape 
you're in, the better you will perform. 
There's no question about that. I know 
from personal experience. Playing today's 
music in this type of a band, for most 
continued on page 98 

MAY 1983 


Photo by Ussa Wales 

Here’s Where To Find Them. 

Aemc Music 

Creative Drum Shop 

Liers Music 

Pro Drum Shop 

Shelton. CT. 

Scottsdale, AZ 

Garden Grove, CA 

Portland, OR 





Akron Mu&ic Center 

D.J.’s West 

Long Island Drum 

Professional Drum 

Akron, OH. 

Phoenix, AZ 

No- Merrick, NY 

Hollywood, CA 





A1 Nall Music 

Down Home Guitar 

Long Island Drum 

Purvis Drum Shop 

Ann Arbor, MI 

Anchorage, AK 

Conuaack, NY 

Seattle, WA 





Albert's Music 

Downtown Sounds 

Long Island Drum 

Rocket Musk 

ELI Cajon, CA 

Northampton, MA 

Little Neck, NY 

Greenville, NC 





Audio light + Musk it! 

Drumshine Shop 

Me Grach's Music 

Saied Musk Co 

Norfolk, VA 

Cincinnati, OH 

Stuart, FL 

Tulsa, OK 





Audio Light + Musical 

Easy Music 

Metro Music 

Shreveport Music 

Raleigh, NC 

Honolulu, HI 

Atlanta, GA 

Shreveport, LA 




B + G Music 

Edwin’s Musk 

.Midway Music 

Sound Post West 

Belleville. It 

Buffalo, NY 

Cleveland, OH 

Mt. Prospect, IL 




Bund Shell Music 

Freehold Music 

Midwest Music 

Sound Vibrations 

Marshall, MN 

Tom's River, NJ 

Cincinnati, OH 

Corpus Christi, TX 





Bender and Block 

Garden State Music 

Mike’s Drum Shop 

SPL Sound + Musk 

Sterling, IL 

Tom's River, NJ 

Santa Barbara, CA 

Vineland, NJ 





Birmingham Percussion Center 

Gemini Music 

Music + 

Starlitc Musk + Audio 

Birmingham, AL 

Fairmont, MN 

St. Louis Park, MN 

Upper Darby, PA 




Brook Mays Pro Drum Shop 

Gill's Music 

Music Connection 

Strait Music +Audio 

Dallas, TX 

Antioch, CA 

Forest Lake, MN 

Austin, TX 





Buffalo Drum Outlet 

Gordon Miller 

Music Headquarters 

Take 5 Music 

Chcekiowaga, NY 

Towsen, MD 

Ft. Myers, FL 

Lancaster, CA 





C + S Music 

Greer Music 

Music Headquarters 

Terminal Music 

FT. Worth, TX 

Florence, SC 

Naples, FL 

New York, NY 





C + S Music 

Guitar * Drum Center 

Music Place 

Texas Tom's Ml 

Spring, TX 

St. Clair Shores, Ml 

North Reading, MA 

Houston, TX 





C + Z's Ber Music 

Guitar Doctor 

Music Quarters 

Texas Tom’s W 

Harrisburg, PA 

Orem, UT 

East Detroit, Ml 

Webster, TX 





C+M Music 

Guitars Etc. 

Music Store 

Texas Tom’s M3 

Sparks, NV 

Bellevue, WA 

Racine, Wl 

Houston, TX 





Caldwell Music 

Guitars Etc, 

Music Unlimited 

The Music Shop 

Abilene, TX 

Seattle, WA 

Stillwater, OK 

Iowa City, IA 





Caldwell Music Ml 

Jackson Music Center 

Music World 

Thoroughbred Music 

San Antonio, TX 

Little Rock, AR 

Spokane, WA 

Tampa, FL 





Caldwell Musk U2 

Janis Music 4 

Music World 

Treasure Valley 

San Antonio, TX 

Tracy, CA 

Boise, ID 

Ontario, OR 


209-835-U 25 



Carroll's Music 

janis Music 

Musician's Exchange 

Turner Music 

Auburn, ML 

Manteca, CA 

Ft. Lauderdale, FL 

Van Wert, OH 





Casablanca Music 

Joe Voda Drum City 

Musician’s Exchange 


Btmidji, MN 

Omaha, NB 

Hampton, VA 

]£au Claire, W1 





Champion’s Music 

Jonesboro Studio of Guitar 

New Jersey School of Percussion 

Vesky Music 

Houston, TX 

Jonesboro, AR 

West Grange, X] 

Lav Vegas, NV 





Charles Bean Music Co, 

K,C. Music It Pro Audio 

Noldcs Music Box 

Wcmblie Audio + Percussion 

Westerly, RI 

Overland Park, KS 

Flcmmington, NJ 

Hastings, NE 





Christian Book Store + Musk Center 

Kaye’s Music 

Ontario Music 

Wild West Musk 

Eastman, GA 

Reseda, CA 

Ontario, CA 

Albuquerque, NM 


213-881 -5566 


Coast Music 

Kempfer .Music 

Park Music 

Ye Old Guitar Shop 

Fountain Valiev, CA 

Bethlehem, PA 

Lccdihurg, PA 

Gastonia, NC 


Colfax Music 

Denver, CO 


Colfax Music 

Denver, CO 


Cordcr & Sons 

Huntsville, AL 



Kurkin Music Co. 

Worcester, MA 


Liers Music 

San Bemadino, CA 

Liers Music 

Riverside, CA 



Peterson Music 

Sterling Heights, Mi 


Phillips Music 

Clovis, NM 


Pianos and Stuff 

B la unox, PA 







If \bu Can Find Them, 
Buy Them. 

# Finding Dean Markleys* new professional line of 
Hickory Drumsticks is not always easy to do. 

Our 22 step manufacturing procedure, including a 
unique machining process which gives true center 
turning, 5 step sanding station for an extremely 
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different check stations for uncompromising quality 
control, takes a little longer and limits our 
production. But, we take the extra time to make 
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Limited production means we won’t be able to 
supply every store. So, if your favorite dealer 
doesn’t have Dean Markiey Stix™, give us a call and 
we’ll help you find them. When you do, you’ll be 
grabbing hold of what professionals are saying is 
“The Finest Drumstick In The World”, 

Dean Markiey, Inc,, $ti* Division, 3350 Scott Blvd, #29 Santa Clara, CA 95051 (408) 988*2456 

Telex qmmott MARKIEY SNTA * Dean MafWey Siring*, Inc: 19S2 

by Nick Forte 

Odd Time Signatures 

For some years now, there has been a growing interest in odd time 
signatures. The problem many students experience with odd signa¬ 
tures can be traced back to an unclear understanding of the basics 
of counting. By definition, a time signature suggests a uniform 
system of counting/grouping by which we can organize note values 
in a readable manner. 

Theoretically, any number may appear at the top of a signature. 
However, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 12 are used most often. The bottom 
number always indicates the note value that will become one beat/ 

At the risk of oversimplification, there are only three basic types 
of time signatures: 

A) Those that utilize two beats per bar. (2/8, 2/4, 2/2) 

B) Those that utilize three beats per bar. (3/8, 3/4, 3/2) 

C) Combinations of A and B. 

Time signatures that have the same denominator have the same 
count-to-note relationship. In 2/4, 3/4, 4/4, 5/4, etc., one quarter 
note/count equals one beat. In 2/8, 3/8, 5/8, 6/8, etc., one 8th 
note/count equals one beat. 

Of course, regardless of what time signature you're in, the inter¬ 
relation of note subdivisions is constant—a quarter note can al¬ 
ways be divided into two 8ths, four 16ths, etc. How these notes are 
counted depends on the time signature. 


Definition: Two 8th notes (or equivalents) in each measure. Therefore, in 2/8 you are limited to those note values that equal the duration of 
two 8ths. Examples of 2/8 divisions, and their count: 

12 12 12 1 + 2+ 1AN2AN I u + d 2 u + d 

j iuanju5^im 


Definition: Three 8th notes (or equivalents) in each measure. 

1 2 3 


1 2 3 

I 2 3 

1 + 2 + 3 + 1+2 + 3+ Iu + d2u + d3u + d 


* "3 I J"1J J J J \ I 

The 5/8 time signature is simply a composite of one measure of 3/8 and one measure of 2/8. The 6/8 time signature is a composite of two 
measures of 3/8. The 7/8, 9/8, 12/8 have similar characters, since they, too, are composites of 2/8 and 3/8. 

Definition: Two half notes (or equivalents) in each measure. 

I (+) 2 (+) 1 + 2 + 

j j j j 

1 u + d 2 u + d 1 AN2AN 

~m rm i j j j j j j 


Definition: Three half notes (or equivalents) in each measure. 

1 (+) 2 (+) 3 (+) 1 + 2 + 3 + Iu + d2u + d3u + d 1AN2AN3AN 

jj j j j j. jjjjjjjj 


It is common to see music which appears to be in 4/4, but which is preceded with a Cut Time, or Alla Breve, signature. This means that 
the music is to be counted as though it were in 2/2, that is, with two pulses per bar rather than four. This type of signature is used 
extensively in show, society and circus work, and is the essence of many Latin rhythms. 

1 + 

i ^ 

2 + '1 

J e : 

i + 



! 4 

J \ 



□ q, j, 

’ r f 

■ f 

continued on next page 


MAY 1983 


"As q rock drummer I need rhe power to cur 
through rhe orher instruments in rhe band. My 
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Drums are a key part of our music. If I can't be 
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The main element that all time signatures are bound to (and 
revolve around) is tempo. However, time signatures, per se, do not 
automatically imply any specific tempo. 

When a piece of music contains more than one time signature, it 
may (or may not) indicate a change in tempo. However, with each 
new signature, you will feel a change in rhythmic "posture." 

In example #1, because the bottom numbers of the signatures are 
the same, there is no change in tempo. But, because the top num¬ 
bers differ, the location of the main pulse is altered. If a tempo 
change at the 3/4 section is desired, it must be noted with words 
like "slightly slower" and/or an additional metronome mark. 

Ex, # ], 

Cym. 4 


nr ,; 


1 x JT3 ns 

... 3 

>J 7 J J 1 

r f 

■ r * [iA 

r r r 1 

Example #2 illustrates that once you get into a new signature, the 
counting must be adjusted to fit the denominator of that signature. 
Note that the 3/8 section of this example is counted exactly the 
same as the 3/4 section. However, the 3/8 section will be played 
twice as fast. 

Ex, #2. 

123 1 + 23 1 u + d 2 3 + 123 

^ j n i j. 

i j j j | j ij j 

123 1+2 3 I u + d 2 3 + 123 



m m m # m m m m 


When moving between two signatures with different denomina- is a notation over the time change indicating that 8th note equals 
tors, there are two possibilities: either the note values can remain 8th note. Therefore, the 8th notes in the top line will stay at the 

the same, or the "pulse" can remain the same. In example #3, there same speed, but the bass drum notes will be slower in the 3/8 sec¬ 


Ex. #3, j + 2 + 3 + 4 + 3 2 3 1 2 3 





^ j J 1 ^ J 

In example #4, quarter note equals dotted quarter. This means that the bass drum part (the "pulse") will remain the same speed 
throughout. The snare drum part will speed up, however, in the 3/8 section. 

Ex. #4, 


1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 

3 2 3 3 2 3 

{ f l J f l J < 


I + d 2 + I + 2 + 

j~hj n JTi ,:/m n» n * + 


123 1 + 2+ 1+2+ I + d 2 + 

2 U 

1 234567 12345+6+7 + 123456789 


nu j 

H no J J £ l £ 

1+2 3+ 4 5 + 6 7891 2 N34N lu + d2u + d3+4 + 

9* “ 9 

/TJT^nT] t u J J J>J J J> 




1 23456789 10 11 12 1 

J J J>J J J. 

I + 2 + 1 + 2 + 

2 345 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 

■ J *1 > j | J >A 


MAY 1983 

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Palmer continued from puge /3 
RF: Out here in L.A., when musicians 
were first exposed to rock 'n' roll, the gen¬ 
eral consensus was that it was deplorable. 
EP: Well, what did get me pissed off some¬ 
times was that out here you get so catego¬ 
rized. I always felt that just because this is 
what I did that attracted the attention of 
people, that didn't mean I was limited to 
doing that. I don't want to be limited. I 
didn't go to music school for four years to 
just play rock 'n' roll. But fortunately, I 
got the opportunity for people to know 
that I did play other things by doing the 
films and the television. 

RF: Why did you come out here and when? 
EP: That was 1957. I came out here be¬ 
cause my first wife and I separated, and I 
was then with my second wife, Susan, who 
was white. We didn't want to hide around 
New Orleans any longer. Before my first 
wife and I separated, I had been asked a 
number of times by these people when 
they'd come to New Orleans to record, to 
come to California; that I was badly 
needed out here in the studio. Before I 
came, they were using two guys on many 
sessions to do what I was doing. They 
would use one guy to play a shuffle rhythm 
and the other guy would play the backbeat. 
So they were saying, "Why don't you 
come out to California? You'll make a 
mint." My first wife didn't want to come, 
but then I came out with Susan, who died 
in 1972. We didn't want to stay in New Or¬ 
leans any longer and that was my main rea¬ 
son for coming out. 

RF: That was very early to have a racial 

EP: Very much so. 

RF: Was it markedly different out here? 
EP: Well, it was different in the sense that 
we were not restricted as to where we could 
go and be together. We still evoked stares 
from people and got snide comments as 
we'd pass by. With my temper, that didn't 
go over too well, but it was an enlightening 
part of my life. I learned a lot from Susan, 
who taught me an awful lot about people. 
You see, in all my travels in those days, it 
didn't matter how far north you were, 
there was still some segregation, so you 
were still pretty much kept to your own 
people. From Susan, I learned an awful lot 
about the white world, if we put it in blunt 
terms. I learned a lot from her, which I am 
grateful for, and it enabled me to take the 
chip off my shoulder, meet a lot of people 
and understand people and realize that 
there's good and bad people everywhere. 
There's good and bad blacks and there's 
good and bad whites and I found that out 
very early, largely thanks to her. 

RF: Did you feel the music industry was 
any more liberal? 

EP: Yes, it always has been because you're 
thrown together a lot more, but there's al¬ 
ways been some problems in the music in¬ 
dustry. There are right now, as a matter of 
fact. You wouldn't think so, but there are. 
I'm a member of an organization called 
MUSE (Musicians United to Stop Exclu¬ 
sion) whose main objective is to try to elim¬ 
inate some of those things that are happen¬ 
ing. Like the situation in the Hollywood 
studios right now—unless the children of 
black musicians are able to get into that 

continued on next p&ge 

MAY 1983 


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field like the children of the white musi¬ 
cians, what can we tell our black kids in 
school? When they say, "How can I get in 
the studio and make the money that is be¬ 
ing made out there?" How can you tell 
them they aren't hiring? I can understand 
if they're not hiring me now. I've been 
there; I've made some money. Youth has 
to be served, but there aren't many 
younger black guys coming along out 
there. This is the problem that is being con¬ 
fronted now and the blame is being pitched 
back and forth between contractors and 
leaders. The leaders say the contractor 
didn't hire any blacks and the contractor 
says, "I hire who the leaders say to hire." 
So they're hiding behind each other. 

All of it isn't racial. A lot of it is social. 
A contractor hires the guys he came up 
with or who he lives near and who he asso¬ 
ciates with. But at the same time, the 
young black musician is entitled to a little 
too. Just because he doesn't live near you, 
play golf with you or go to school with 
you, he's still got to make a living. His tal¬ 
ent shouldn't be relegated to playing the 
black clubs and socials and stuff like that. 
He's got the talent, he just isn't getting the 
opportunity. I think one of the reasons is 
that there are no black hiring agents out 
there. All the contractors are primarily 
white. Recently, I did some contracting, 
and what I did was successful. I think I 
proved that I could have an integrated 
band and have quality music. I made sure 
that I hired not only whites and blacks, but 
also women, Orientals, and Latinos. You 
know, everybody you have in the band 
doesn't have to be the very best. What is 
happening with the minority is that when 
the minority is hired, they have to be the 
very best, and that is where it's not fair. 

The same thing has to happen with em¬ 
ployment in that walk of life that we've 
been striving to get in employment every¬ 
where else. It's a huge industry out there 
and all these people should be part of it 
too. We have figures at the Union that 
would appall you; files of contracts to 
show the numbers. It used to be that con¬ 
tractors were far more powerful than they 
are now and they had the say when the 
leader would say, "Get me a band," if he 
didn't say "Get me this person or that per¬ 
son." I can't throw all the blame on them 
because I wouldn't have made the decent 
living I made if it weren't for the contrac¬ 
tors hiring me. Of course, I realize also 
that I was in demand, but contractors can 
circumvent that sometimes, like I've seen it 
circumvented in my case sometimes. Now¬ 
adays, I'm inclined to blame the leaders 
primarily because if they don't want to 
look prejudiced, they've got to not act 
prejudiced. When they have an all-white 
band in the studio of 35 and 40 musicians, 
then they have to understand that anybody 
who would walk in is going to naturally 
think, "Well, he doesn't like these peo¬ 
ple." What else are they going to think 

when they don't see any blacks or women 
there? The line you get is, "I just didn't 
think of it." So that means, "You don't 
have to eat." He thought about those guys 
having to eat, but he didn't think about 
me, and I've got to eat too. I've got to go to 
that same supermarket and pay those same 
prices, so if you don't think about me, you 
don't care for me. That's all I can say. But 
like I said, it isn't a racial situation in every 
case, it's social too. And I've seen people 
try to rectify the situation also. Right after 
the strike, when we got some legislation on 
the table, there was a little bit of an up¬ 
surge of black hiring, but it's gone again. 
Some years ago, we had another move¬ 
ment along those lines. We got a couple of 
musicians in the Academy Awards band, 
where there had never been any before. I 
don't know if there are any now, but with 
those things, whenever you make a little 
noise about it, it happens and then it dies 

RF: It's nice to see that you're so con¬ 
cerned. You have had a tremendous 
amount of success and you are still con¬ 
cerned about those who haven't. That's 
not always the case. 

EP: That's one of the real problems of the 
blacks. Many of those who have had the 
success are not interested in the other 
blacks' problem anymore. That is one of 
the problems the blacks have with the 
blacks. The main thing a black should 
want is to be in the mainstream of everyday 
life and have the opportunities, that's all. 
But you find a lot of blacks, when they get 
into the mainstream, tend to forget some¬ 
times that they're black, and their respon¬ 
sibility. We have a lot of blacks too who 
are "professionally" black because it's ad¬ 
vantageous for them to be black. We have 
a lot of stars who have their own produc¬ 
tion companies and such, and the bulk of 
their staff is white. They are what I call 
"professional" blacks. They are now be¬ 
ing very, very vociferous about being 
black, but when you go to their production 
company offices, you won't see any blacks 
in the high echelon—the policy making of 
the company. You may see some secre¬ 
taries, but that's it. There are a lot of 
whites who are not hiring equally, but 
there are an awful lot of blacks who do the 

RF : So what happened when you came out 
to California? 

EP: Well, on the strength of being on all 
those Fats Domino records, I did work for 
a lot of different companies. I got so busy 
working for them that I didn't stay with 
Aladdin Records but for about a year as 
A&R man for them. I got so busy that I 
couldn't do that work, and they weren't 
doing that much as it was. So I left them 
after a year and sorry to say, they went out 
of business about a year later. And once 
the other companies for whom I had 
worked in New Orleans knew I was here, 
they began calling. In addition to which, I 
continued on next page 


MAY 1983 

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started being recommended by other musi¬ 
cians I had hired and played with who were 
the best, like Benny Carter, Buddy Col¬ 
lette, and Red Callender. Then they began 
recommending me to the people they had 
been working for. Especially after I started 
working with Buddy's group and every¬ 
body knew, "Hey, he plays jazz too!" 
That's what I was playing before I was 
playing rhythm & blues. So I started 
branching out to other companies and then 
into the films. I used to turn down record 
dates to take film calls. Record dates paid 
more, but I had to make an inroad into the 
film area because you last longer in films. 
Records are a more evolutionary thing and 
there's more of a turnover all the time. 

RF: Tell me about the Motown situation. 
EP: My first association with Motown was 
through two guys, one who is still produc¬ 
ing for them now, Hal David. We used to 
do an awful lot of Motown stuff, and at the 
time, we didn't know it. We knew it was 
Motown, but we didn't know who the art¬ 
ist was going to be on it. We heard these 
records and tapes come back and knew it 
sounded familiar, but we knew we hadn't 
recorded with the Temptations or with Di¬ 
ana Ross. We were doing a lot of tracks out 
here and two girls by the name of the Lewis 
Sisters were singing on them. They must 
have done a thousand albums, yet I never 
remembered their having a record out. 

RF: Why did Motown do it that way? 

EP: At that time, many companies were 
doing it. There was a rule in the Union 
where you could not do tracking because 
tracking did not allow musicians to make 
the proper amount of money that they 
should make. You were only supposed to 
record with the artist there. If you tracked, 
you had to pay a penalty for tracking. So 
rather than pay a penalty for tracking and 
not having the artist there who was back in 
Chicago doing a concert or something, 
they had the Lewis Sisters, and we re¬ 
corded the Lewis Sisters almost every day. 
Linally the Union found out about that. 
To this day I don't know how. Honest to 
God, I didn't report it, although I should 
have. But somebody did and they cracked 
down on it. They sent us retroactive checks 
from way back. So my first association 
with Motown was with Hal David and 
Fred Wilson who were the only two pro¬ 
ducers they had out here I think. We used 
to do all these things in an old ramshackled 
house behind Sunset Boulevard. Carol 
Kaye, Arthur Wright, and Red Callender 
did some. In fact, Carol played guitar on 
some of those early Motown things. I 
helped introduce her to the business when 
she was playing guitar. I still worked a lot 
for them when they first built their studios 
on Romaine. 

RF: So what changed? 

EP: Ben Barrett was their contractor then 
and he used to do the payroll for them also. 
I used to work a lot for Ben on other gigs. 
Being black and Motown being a black 

company, automatically threw me into the 
Motown situation, which from then on, 
gave me the opportunity to do all of the 
Motown stuff. I was also able to help get 
another guy started in this town, a tremen¬ 
dous drummer by the name of Paul Hum¬ 
phry. I sent Paul on a date in my place for 
Motown and guaranteed Ben that he'd do 
a good job, and he did. I was also instru¬ 
mental in helping Harvey Mason. They 
needed a young black drummer for a part 
in Mod Squad and I recommended him for 
it. My son was out of town or I probably 
would have recommended him. These guys 
were very good players and they were also 
guys who had attitudes that you didn't 
have to worry about in the studio—about 
being on time, appearances, attitude. But a 
fall-out with Ben Barrett was more or less 
the end of that situation. That was about 
eight years ago. My association had begun 
to deteriorate a little bit earlier than that 
because I began to feel that Motown was a 
company that was supposed to be a very 
black company and they prided themselves 
on the Motown sound, the black sound 
and all of that. I don't know what it's like 
now—I haven't been around there—but 
for a time there, the operation was more 
white run than it was black, which 
smacked of hypocrisy to me. I think I 
voiced that a couple of times and that was 
the end of my association with them. But 
that was alright because that's the way I 
felt about it. The highest paid position was 
Ben Barrett, and he sure as hell wasn't col¬ 
ored. So I made mention of that a couple 
of times and I guess it didn't go over too 
well. But I had a lot of fun. 

Now, that is the one alteration in my 
playing where I don't feel there was a New 
Orleans flavor in the music because even 
then, Motown had a distinct sound. To get 
that sound, it changed my whole hearing 
concept for a while. What they meant by 
sound wasn't so much sound as it was a 
motion—an action from the drums. They 
didn't like cymbal sounds. They liked the 
bass drum and they liked the snare drum. I 
played a lot of bass drum, it's true, but in a 
different aspect, so it changed my thinking 
a little in order to get the sound they 
wanted. I had creative freedom, but I still 
had to maintain that sound and alter my 
playing. I think that changed the New Or¬ 
leans feeling totally for the while I worked 
with them. I don't think you could have 
told my playing from anybody else's on 
those records, except for maybe fills. I had 
guys who said they knew it was me by cer¬ 
tain fills I played, but rhythmically it was 
strictly the Motown sound. So other than 
the guy in Detroit who really started it, the 
original Motown drummer whose name 
was Benny Benjamin, I think I did a lot of 
the early hits. 

RF: How did the film opportunities come 
along for you? 

EP: Like I said, I wanted to show that I 
could do other things. I wanted the oppor- 

C&nttHW0 on next pane 


MAY 1983 











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tunity, so whenever I got a chance to do a 
film call, if I had to turn down a record 
date, which paid more money, I would, in 
order to do the other. The longevity is 
greater in films than it is in records. I think 
the first film call I ever played on was a 
thing with Little Richard in The Girl Can't 
Help It, the main title. Somebody didn't 
show up or something like that on the 
drums and I got the opportunity to play the 
serious part of the score. Then I made 
other contacts and met other people by 
having to go on the call and do one part 
rock 'n' roll and getting the chance to do 
the other things until I got the recognition 
for being able to do the serious music. 

RF: When did you find that the record 
dates began to get less in quantity? 

EP: About five years ago, records began to 
diminish for me. At first I didn't know 
whether it was just new faces coming on 
the scene or the business just getting to be 
less. Now I'm sure it's the business, but 
I'm also sure it's new faces—younger tal¬ 
ent—which is inevitable. When I came 
here, somebody else was doing the work 

RF : Are there any new, young drummers 
you admire? 

EP: Steve Gadd, Harvey Mason, John 
Guerin, Peter Donald and Peter Erskine 
are very good, all-around young men and 
that's always been what I admired; some¬ 
body who can play everything. 

RF: How does somebody learn to be versa¬ 
tile and be able to play all styles? 

EP: First of all, I think you have to have 
the incentive to want to play all areas of 
music because if you're pushed into it, 
you're not going to want to do it. Having 
that desire to play all kinds of things and 
enlarging on it by listening to all kinds of 
music and finding enjoyment in all kinds of 
music is the key. Then luckily being 
thrown into situations in the film industry 
where you don't know what you're going 
to have to do when you go there in the 
morning most of the time is how it hap¬ 
pened for me. With films in recent years 
beginning to play all kinds of music, you 
get a chance to put that in operation. 

RF: What other advice could you give to 

EP: Keep the time. Play that instrument 
with time, read everything you can find to 
read, and not just drum parts. Drum parts 
are pretty much the same. They differ with 
different tunes, but the parts themselves 
are written pretty much the same. In saxo¬ 
phone, trumpet, clarinet and violin parts, 
the syncopation will change more than the 
average drum part, so to sharpen the eye, 
read those parts. Mainly, have humility 
with that instrument. If you don't, it's go¬ 
ing to be in bad taste. You can play in great 
time, you can read your tail off, but if 
you're playing too loud, then it's the worst 
sounding instrument in the band. Make 
the rest of the guys know that you're re¬ 
sponsible for the time. You're going to 

catch hell for it when it's bad and you sel¬ 
dom get the glory when it's good. Some¬ 
how establish a rapport with them that if 
they all play the time you're playing, if it's 
good and consistent, then you'll all be in 
time. You have to have a little bit of a take¬ 
over attitude without being overbearing, 
for the good of the time feel. You can't all 
be an individual leader and in that particu¬ 
lar instance, you're the leader, in that sec¬ 

RF: Is there a particular kind of music you 
prefer to play? 

EP: I have to say jazz for the simple reason 
that all the music we play stems from jazz. 
Every few years, periodically, it goes back 
to jazz. And it has to. When you get to a 
certain kind of music that is so far away 
from the roots, you have to come back. 
When it comes back, it comes back to some 
form of jazz. This country doesn't appre¬ 
ciate that this is the only art form that it 
has. Everything else started somewhere 
else. That's appreciated around the world 
more than it is here. Jazz started in this 
country, and I'm very proud to say that it 
started in New Orleans. Jazz is the most 
creative of musics to me, because when 
you're playing jazz, you're improvising so 
much more than other music. So it gives 
you more room for the creative aspect of 
music and this is what keeps music going— 
people creating. When you stop jazz, you 
almost stop creating. You start creating 
trends, but not music. 

RF: What about equipment through the 
years? Did you change your equipment 

EP: I haven't changed that much. I think I 
was one of the first to use two toms up on 
the bass drum, and then Hal [Blaine] 
started using eight. That got such a good 
effect that we all had to do it. It was very 

RF: What were you most recently using? 
EP: I had four or five sets and used differ¬ 
ent ones at different times. I used Yamaha 
some of the time and a Rogers about 50% 
of the time. Some drums will tune a certain 
way and the other set won't. The Yamaha 
set I have needs less adjustment to change 
the sound of it. If you go on a film call, 
there may be one tune that's jazz and if 
you're going to get the proper sound for 
that tune, the drums can't be tuned to play 
the next cue which is hard rock, maybe. 
You have to find a common denominator 
that will keep you from having to make too 
much of a change in between. I find the 
way I have the Yamaha set tuned already is 
more versatile along those lines. Then I 
have a Cameo set that I used for casuals, 
which is more mobile since it's a smaller set 
and it can get into my car easily. Then I 
have a Rogers set which was given to me by 
Louie Bellson that I used because it's more 
adaptable to the rock sound. On the Rog¬ 
ers set I had eight toms like Hal had, but on 
the Yamaha, I used two on the top and two 
on the bottom. On the Cameo, I used two 

continued on next pa%e 


MAY 1983 


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on the top and one on the bottom. 

RF: You're also quite involved with 
NARAS (National Assoc, of Recording 
Arts and Sciences). 

EP: I' ve been involved with them for 
twenty years now. I just completed a term 
of vice president for the second time and 
I'm serving my third term as national 
trustee. It's a good organization and every¬ 
one in the industry should belong to it. 
They should know what is going on in it. 
It's an organization that can give praise to 
various artists in various fields, and re¬ 
gardless of what anyone thinks, nobody 
can deny that it is a totally democratic 
process. The one thing you can ask from 
an organization is that the voting is totally 
democratic. If you don't vote, then you 
can't complain about what record wins. 
It's a matter of the voting people's choice. 
RF: I wonder if you could tax your mem¬ 
ory to think of any records that you are 
particularly proud of. 

EP:I' m proud of an album I did with Sina¬ 
tra with Neal Hefti one time. It was built 
around Sinatra's vocals, but it was also al¬ 
most an instrumental album with him sing¬ 
ing on top of it. Neal has the knack for 
doing just the right thing on arrangements. 
There's kind of a saying in the business 
about his arrangements: "All you have to 
do is play; you don't have to make them 
swing. The way they're written, they swing 
themselves." It was a great feeling doing 
that album with Sinatra, who to me, is a 
fantastic man. 

There have been many other albums. I 
remember some rock albums that were 
fantastic. Another highlight was that Hal 
Blaine and I used to do some things with 
Jan & Dean where they used two drum¬ 
mers. The parts were identical and we had 
to hit the same tom-tom at the same time, 
the same snare drum at the same time. 
Everything was identical. They wanted it 
to sound like one drummer, but with the 
body of two, and that was pretty gratifying 
because we had to strive to make it sound 
like one drummer. I think we did a fantas¬ 
tic job. Hal's great. A lot of people 
thought Hal and I would be enemies be¬ 
cause we were direct competitors for a long 
time, but that wasn't so. We used to com¬ 
municate quite a bit. 

RF: Do I dare ask you the highlights of 
your career? 

EP: Like I said earlier, the first time writ¬ 
ing an arrangement in music school and 
feeling that sense of having totally created 
it and hearing it being played back. That 
was the first euphoria I felt. Another was 
doing a film call—some cartoon music 
which is very, very difficult music because 
it is all written, and because of the changes 
of tempos and changes of instruments. 
Doing one of those the first time and doing 
it exactly right was another feeling of great 
accomplishment because it was something 
I hadn't done before. It gave me a chance 
to prove myself to a number of people who 

were on that date and who I had never 
worked with. 

Also, record-wise, there was an album 
some years ago called The Explosive Side 
of Sarah Vaughn. There were some won¬ 
derful arrangements in that by a great ar¬ 
ranger, Benny Carter. I don't think the al¬ 
bum was a great seller, but musically, to 
me, it was a great album. I had a great feel¬ 
ing of accomplishment because the music 
was difficult and it was very physical be¬ 
cause practically everything started in a 
ballad and wound up real up-tempo. I felt I 
did a good job on that and that was an¬ 
other highlight. Also, on the Delia Reese 
Show, that was one of the best bands I've 
ever played with. Every day was a feeling 
of accomplishment. We had a number of 
very good arrangers and Delia would never 
change anything. They used to outdo 
themselves trying to outdo the other ones. 
We did that show every day for eight or 
nine months. That was a wonderful experi¬ 

I did a casual once with Benny Carter at 
the Paladium which didn't have promise 
of being anything, but turned out to be in¬ 
credible. We weren't supposed to play any 
dance music, but as it turned out, some¬ 
thing happened and we had to play dance 
music. We didn't have any book, but Bob 
Yeager usually kept Louie Bellson's ar¬ 
rangements to be shipped to him wherever 
he needed, so he got out Louie's book. 
That was a pretty good feeling to play that 
thing sight unseen because it's all built 
around Louie. It was fun too because it 
was a drummer's book. We didn't play the 
long solos—we'd condense it to maybe 
four or eight bars because it had to be 
dance music—but Benny Carter said it was 
one of the best displays of sight reading he 
had ever seen from a drummer. Lrom his 
many years of playing with drummers, I 
felt pretty good about that. So those are 
some of the highlights, and there have been 
many others. Buddy Collette's group was 
great after coming here and not playing 
any jazz and just doing records. Buddy 
started his group and we opened at a club 
one night and that was one of those magi¬ 
cal situations where everything was right, 
everybody sounded great, you could do no 
wrong, and everything you tried worked. 
That was another highlight of my career, 
as far as with a small group thing. We had 
some fun days there and a lot of magic 
nights. That's what the whole thing is, be¬ 
ing able to play and enjoy it. I always con¬ 
sidered myself very lucky to make a decent 
living at doing something I enjoy doing 
more than anything else. That doesn't 
mean it's not work and you don't want to 
be paid for it, but I always considered my¬ 
self so fortunate. Besides the time and 
study you put in, the hard knocks and the 
hamburgers, it's pretty gratifying to wind 
up making a good living at what you want 
to do more than anything else in the world. 


MAY 1983 

Pearl drums are just like me 
Fat and Sensitive 

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kind of tuning and head combination. The X-l snare strainer is a beauty. It’s the 
smoothest most precise I’ve ever seen. I have basically always felt that a drum is a 
drum, and generally all or most of today’s drum companies make good quality 
drums. So what can be so different from one brand to the other? 

Jim Keltner 

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Towards Ambidexterity 

In the past decade, the left hand has often replaced the right in 
leading rhythms around the drumset. Many of today's top drum¬ 
mers can play on a ride cymbal with either hand. It's said that this 
new aspect of drumming came about to allow greater access to 
large drumsets. But, its advantages go much further, and are of 
undoubted benefit to anyone, regardless of the size of drumset. 

Basic Exercises 

First, practice the following accent exercises which focus on the 
left hand. Exercises which emphasize the left, while the right fills in 
the spaces, will help to orient the player to the accentuated left 
hand approach. 




mm m m 




Around The Set 

One of the primary advantages of leading phrases with the left 
hand is the new range of possibilities which open up in terms of 
moving around the drums. It now becomes possible to start at the 
low end of the drumset and work upwards. 




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Left Hand Timekeeping 

Now look at some advantages of using the left hand for time¬ 
keeping. First, play any number of basic rock rhythms keeping 
time with your left hand on hi-hat until it feels entirely comfort¬ 

able. The right hand is now free to play the drums, and you're free 
of using crossed hands. Here are a few basic coordination patterns, 
first using quarter notes for timekeeping, and then straight 8ths. 

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continued on next page 

MAY 1963 

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Here are a few more ideas using tom-toms. Left hand timekeeping lends itself particularly well to patterns which utilize the floor tom. 

LJH. on H.H. 1 ^ 

R.H. onS.D. 
R.H. on F T. 


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L.H. on H.H. 
R.H. on S.T 
R.H. onS.D. 
R.H. on " “ 

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Now try these more advanced fusion patterns using the same approach. 

H. on CYM^_ft 

H, on S.T 
H on S O 

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These exercises make use of the opening and closing of the hi-hat cymbals. Note how in some exercises the left hand plays the off-beat on 
the snare drum also. 

R .H. on C. Bell 
L.H. on H.H. 

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Eventually you'll find you're able to include your left hand in 
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Wackerman continued from page 11 

"That's another hard question," he replied. "I hope I sound 
different than anybody else. You learn as much as you can. You'll 
play what you like. You'll play what you think sounds good and 
fits the music. Eventually that turns into something, or it should. 
You try to put as much of your personality into the music as it will 
allow. It's always nice to leave your signature. Certain situations 
allow it and others don't. 

"I don't consciously try to imitate players unless I'm called on to 
do that. If a producer says we want a Toto-kind of 16th-note rock 
ballad with a Jeff Porcaro-type of sound, you should know that 
style and how to tune your drums that way. But, I don't purposely 
try to play like Jeff. I steal things from everybody but I don't want 
to be them." 

Chad mentioned Jeff Porcaro, Ed Greene, Bernard Purdie, Ste¬ 
wart Copelend, Terry Bozzio, Vinnie Colaiuta, Steve Gadd, Peter 
Erskine, Tony Williams, Elvin Jones, Bob Moses, Jack De- 
Johnette, Bobby Colomby, John Von Ohlen, Buddy Rich and 
Louie Bellson as a few of the drummers who have influenced his 

"I'm glad you didn't ask me who my favorite drummer is, be¬ 
cause I don't have one," he said. "That's one of those questions 
that get asked. I have a lot of favorite drummers that I enjoy. You 
can learn from everyone. 

"A lot of times I went to a drum clinic not knowing what to 
expect. There were drummers I had never heard of and some I had 
heard of but had never heard play. Through the clinic I got to 
understand what that person did. Some of it stuck." 

Chad is a veteran of drum clinics. He'll still attend one if he has a 
chance, and though he's usually not much older than the drum¬ 
mers in attendance, Chad puts on a pretty good clinic himself. He 
talks about practicing and rudiments, working with different 
rhythm sections, how to swing, how to groove, and how to play 
some of the more exotic Latin patterns. Chad mentioned that he 
prefers to do the clinic with at least a rhythm section. 

"That way, I'm playing music rather than just a drum solo. I 
expect the kids to get something out of the clinic," he continued. 

"If they learn just one new thing then the clinic is a success. If they 
learn two, that's even better. I pass along some of the things that I 
learned from the clinics I attended, but I do other, more current 
things, too. I try to let the audience hear something they haven't 
heard before, or hear it in a different way. Sometimes I learned a 
lot just from seeing a guy's set-up." 

Chad has always had a large drumset. This tendency appeared at 
an early age. He liked the variety of sounds and the impressive look 
of a lot of drums. Once again his father was largely responsible. 
"Dad's left handed and at the time I was starting to play we had 
just one set. Since I'd always have to turn the set around anyway 
I'd take the drums apart and retune them or set them up differ¬ 
ently. I remember the first jazz festival I went to I took two drum- 
sets and put them together. I just threw everything I could find all 
together. What a terrible kid," he commented. 

The "festival model" drumset had a WFL 22" bass, a Ludwig 
20" bass, a 5 x 14 metal snare, another 5 x 14 snare with the snares 
off as a tom-tom, 8x 12, 9x 13 and 14x 14 mounted toms, and a 
16" floor tom. The large set developed into a Wackerman trade¬ 
mark as Chad grew to "prefer that much noise." 

One year, at the Reno Jazz Festival, Chad met Phil Hulsey and 
Gary Beckner. Hulsey is the West Coast sales rep for the 
Slingerland Drum Company and Beckner, at the time, was a 
Slingerland executive. The two men came up to Chad, introduced 
themselves and told Chad that they had enjoyed his playing. The 
following year they were there again and they offered the 8th 
grader a Slingerland endorsement. 

"They approached me," Chad said. "They said, 'Play the 
drums and see what you think. If you like the drums and you're 
interested, keep them. If not, just send them back.' It wasn't a 
high-pressure situation. It was real nice." 

Phil Hulsey became like a second father to Chad. He introduced 
Chad to other players and was very supportive of his playing. 
When the time came, Phil helped Chad with his career and he also 
gave him the opportunity to do drum clinics for the company. 

Chad's current Slingerland set has a natural maple finish and 
includes an 8x14 snare, 10 x 10, 10 x 12 and 12 x 14 mounted 
toms, 16 x 16 and 16 x 18 floor toms and a 16x22 bass drum. 
Chad's also using a rack of 6", 8" and 10" Roto-Toms and a 14" 
Roto on a Pitch Pedal. Chad uses the Drum Workshop chain and 
sprocket bass drum pedal and he was one of the first to use the 
double bass pedal developed by Duane Livingston and now made 
by DW. Chad's present set-up also incorporates the use of the 
RIMS mounting system on the mounted toms and Roto-Toms. 

In discussing Chad's tuning and head preference, he said to talk 
to John Good. John is Fred White's (Earth, Wind and Fire) drum 
"technician" and, on last summer's Zappa tour, took care of 
Chad's equipment. 

"When I first got the job with Zappa I had never met Chad," 
John related. "The first thing I wanted to do was rework his 
drums. Immediately Chad said, 'Wait a minute!' There was a pe¬ 
riod of time that Chad and I had to hang-out and talk to each other 
and actually become friends so that he would trust me. 

"I don't like to go on the road with a drummer unless I can get 
inside his drums and find out what I'm going to have to deal with 
every day. That way I can come up with a formula that works for 
the drummer and the situation. On the road it's best to have a 
working instrument that requires as little maintenance as possible. 
It's like driving a car that's been tuned once a day." 

After reworking the drums and refining the bearing edges, Chad 
was very happy with his set and with John's work. The two of them 
then came up with a head combination that they felt would best fit 
the requirements of the road, the music, and Chad's playing. To 
get a snappy, melodic tone a Remo coated Ambassador head was 
used on top. To restrict the amount of sound and bring out the 
lows, Remo Pinstripes were used on the bottom. 

"The top head is what the player hears," John said. "The bot¬ 
tom head is what everyone else hears. Most players who have prob¬ 
lems with their sound have problems with their bottom head. I tune 

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the bottom head first and then the top head." 

One of John's special talents is his ability to consistently tune the 
drums the same way night after night and show after show. Be¬ 
cause Zappa records everything the band does, from sound checks 
to rehearsals to concerts, having the drums sound the same at all 
times is very important. John tuned Chad's drums twice a day; 
once before the sound check and again before the show. The amaz¬ 
ing thing is that he does it by ear. 

"Some people tune from the top drum down, others from the 
bass drum up. I prefer to tune each drum where it sounds good to 
my ear. That's what works for me," he said. 

To keep the drum sound consistent, and also to avoid head 
breakage during a concert, the tom-tom heads were changed every 
three or four shows. The snare drum head was changed after every 
show. That, of course, meant that the number of shows divided by 
the number of changes, times the number of drums, equalled the 
number of heads John needed to buy in preparation for the tour. 

"I made a mistake, though," John said. "I prepared not really 
knowing the material. When you prepare for a tour you should 
know how the guy plays and the music he'll be playing. You have 
to know the artist—not just what you think ought to be taken. I 
figured out how many dates and rehearsals, what kind of budget I 
had, and I ordered accordingly. 

"But, I didn't realize that Chad had to do a lot of riding on his 
16" floor tom. I've never seen anyone go through that many 16" 
heads in my life. I made a mistake and didn't take enough 16" 
heads. When we ran out of coated heads we found two Fiberskyn 2 
heads in the case that had been left over from the last tour. We were 
in the middle of Germany at the time and we decided to use the 
Fiberskyns until we could get some coated heads. I put the first one 
on and it wore out. 

"We only had a few dates left in Italy before the end of the tour, 
so I figured if I convinced Chad to lighten up, the last Fiberskyn 
might just get us through. No sooner had I put the head on the 
drum than a lighting technician who was working above me lost his 
wireless headset. It landed with the two antennas poking right 
through the head and it just stuck there." 

Chad echoed John's comments about preparing for touring. 
"For long tours you have to prepare," Chad said. "You have to 
make sure you have everything and spares of everything. You have 
to play it safe or you'll be stuck somewhere in Europe without 
something you really need. 

"We were in Geneva, Switzerland, and for some reason we had 
broken all the snares we had brought with us. I found a guy at a 
music shop who spoke English. I told him I needed a snare unit and 
I pointed to the bottom of a snare drum. He said, 'No problem,' 
and he went down to the basement. Then he yelled up, 'What color 
do you want?' " 

Another big part of Chad's set-up is his miking. Since the drum 
mic's are used for the PA system and constant recording, Chad has 
been using the Randy May EA internal drum miking system. The 
FA system also makes it easier and less cluttered to set up the 
drums. Each of Chad's drums has a microphone mounted inside of 
it and a plug-in receptacle for the cable. The tom-toms have AKG 
C-450s with 20 db pads, the bass drum has both a Shure 57and an 
AKG D-12, and the snare has a Shure 57 for each head. There are 
also two overhead mic's (AKG) for the cymbals. 

Recently Chad was asked to endorse Paiste cymbals. After try¬ 
ing them he was happy to do so. His present cymbal set-up is a pair 
of 14" Rock hi-hats, a 13" 2002 thin crash, a 14" Rude crash and 
16" Rude crash to his left, and a 22" 2002 ride, inverted 22" Dark 
China-type with a 14" 404 bottom hi-hat placed on top of it, an 18" 
2002 crash and a 20" Rude crash on the right side. Directly in front 
of him hang two Wuhan bell cymbals. 

"The main reason I'm using what I'm using is that when I first 
got the gig with Frank, he and I got together and discussed the set¬ 
up. He has a certain amount of things that you have to have. Other 
than that I just like to have as many colors as possible," Chad 

continued on next page 


MAY 1983 


“You are attempting to become the 
drumming through effort, practice, and 
chronological time. You believe it is the 
drum authorities that are telling you that 
this is the way to go. But, as a matter of 
fact, it is specialized aspects of society 
and technology that are giving off an 
unconscious and inappropriate message 
that is confusing both you and the drum 

“Through special circumstances I 
have come to see that effort, practice, 
and time actually builds a wall between 
the drummer and the drumming. The 
more the task is approached as an act of 
will the thicker and taller becomes the 
wall. Please, don't believe me. Find out 
tor yourself. Just stop the effort and the 
practice and if you have talent you will im¬ 
mediately feel the oneness of the drum¬ 
mer and the drumming when you play in 
public with your group or at home with 
the stereo. But there will be a voice inside 
your head that talks compulsively telling 
you to make the effort. I can help you stop 
that voice." 


I would like to know more about bow you could 
help stop the! voice inside my head. I would like to 
know more about how t could benefit in my playing 
the drum set through your Innovative teaching and 
processes of instruction. Enclosed is a check 
money order for ten dollars (SIO. 00) for your in* 

Please send payment to 


ZOO West 58th Street, Dept. Mfi-43 

troductory package of a one hour instructional 
cassette, a 20 minute recording with proof ol suc¬ 
cess, and an extensive 24 page discussion, {Drum¬ 
mers in foreign countries should add two dollars and 
titty cents ($2,50) tor air mall postage and 

New York, N Y 10019 


Street City State Zip 




Listen to these latest recordings. 

Juice Newton, Ambrosia, James Taylor, 
Hill Street, Magnum P.I., Chicago, 
Jimmy Buffet, Quincy Jones, Geo. Benson, 
Dave Mason, just to mention a few of so many. 

The snare drum you’re hearing is our 
custom maple 7" X 14”, which no one 
can duplicate. 

We build them for more drummers than 
we can keep track of, from session play¬ 
ers to club and concert players. 

We always have sales on new & used 
sets, cymbals, stands, pedals, cases & 
whatever and stock more parts than anyone. 

Let us repearl that old set for a fraction 
the cost of a new one. We also build cus¬ 
tom?" x 14" Fiberglass Snare-Drums. 


VAN NUYS, CA 91401 

"That's one reason I like working with Ed Mann [Zappa's per¬ 
cussionist]. He adds colors that I can't add. He really uses what he 
has and he never overplays. Since he's got all those orchestral in¬ 
struments he doesn't have much room left for congas or Latin 
stuff, but he does have a lot of real neat colors that most Latin guys 
don't even think of. He's got a set of temple blocks and cowbells 
that he'll comp on. If we're playing a real 'death-rock' tune he'll 
play the back-beats on two Chinese cymbals or a low Syndrum. 
Working with Ed is great." 

Chad's philosophy, and it seems to be the generally accepted 
one, is that the percussionist has to be aware of the drummer more 
than the drummer needs to concern himself with the percussionist. 
Percussionists are told, "When in doubt lay out," but drummers 
learn, "When in doubt play out." 

"Of course, the whole thing has to work together," Chad said. 
"Usually the drummer's first worry is the bass player. A percus¬ 
sionist has to have a lot of ability but he also has to know when not 
to play. That's real important. On rock 'n' roll things some guys 
will be playing conga patterns that are way too busy. If I'm playing 
8th notes, the percussionist should realize that the groove is 8th 
notes, not 16ths. He should try to fit in with the drummer." 

At 22, Chad is the first to admit that he's been very fortunate in 
his relatively brief but successful career. Each new job came along 
when he needed it and it needed him. As much as he has matured, 
he hasn't lost his open and respectful attitude towards people and 
music. He's grown, still growing, and frankly there's no telling 
which direction he'll go next. 

"There are a lot of directions today, though I think the trend is 
to be a well-rounded player," he commented. "There are still pu¬ 
rists in every style and there are a few guys who can do everything. 
In the '50s, when rock came in, there were a lot of guys who said, 
'This is a fad; don't listen to it.' Where are those guys now? At the 
same time there are rock 'n' rollers today who couldn't swing a 
monkey. The point is that there's no possible way keeping your 
ears open will hurt you." 

Attitude aside, there must be some secrets to cutting those tough 
auditions. Chad was quick to point out that he's only done three or 
four in his entire life. But since he got all four jobs, he must be 
doing something right. He offered the following advice: 

"Know what to expect and what will be expected of you. Do a 
little research to find out who you're auditioning for. Buy a couple 
of records and see what the band sounds like. Be familiar with the 
style of music you're going to be asked to play. Listen to the re¬ 
cords and practice. 

"Learning to read can't hurt. If there is music, take a couple of 
minutes to look it over. If you have any questions, ask. 

"I can't say don't be nervous because I'm always nervous at 
auditions. All you can do is go in and try to do your best. Bring 
your own pedals, seat or cymbals. Do anything you can to make 
yourself more comfortable. 

"Your first impression is real important, especially on an audi¬ 
tion. A few guys at the Zappa audition came in with real 'atti¬ 
tudes.' They said, 'I want this gig for a while, maybe, but you get 
sick of it, don't you?' You shouldn't say things like that. If you 
don't want the gig, don't take it. 

"Listening is the most important thing. Listen to what the rest of 
the band is doing. Try to complement that. Of course, that's al¬ 
ways true but if you can do it at an audition, the people will appre¬ 
ciate it even more." 

It may have been premature to ask Chad what his long-range 
goals in drumming are. After all, even though he's old enough to 
have a lot of playing behind him, he's young enough to still have 
time to decide what he wants to do. When asked, he shrugged his 
shoulders, thought for a moment, and then answered. 

"I just try to keep going," he said. "I didn't plan to be doing 
what I'm doing at any age. I was surprised at every gig. It'd be nice 
if this continues. I don't really have a goal other than to keep im¬ 
proving myself. I've never stopped practicing and I still go out to 
hear other players every chance I can. I definitely don't feel like 
I've arrived. Not at all. I'm just trying to keep up." ^ 


MAY 1983 

The May EA. 

It gets into the sound and out 

of your way. 

Inside the drum. 

That’s where the sound ---.l,- 

happens. That’s where the 
May EA miking system fits. 

The first real breakthrough in drum 
amplification, the May EA system can be 
mounted easily inside any drum, quickly 
plugs into live or studio boards. Once 
installed, it mikes the internal acoustics 
of each drum individually, amplifying 
only the drum in which it is mounted, to 
eliminate microphone leakage and phase 
cancellation. What you hear is what you 
feel—pure, unadulterated drum. Nothing 
synthetic about it. 

Capable of being rotated 180° the 
unit allows each drum to be individually 
equalized to balance tone and volume, to 
let you isolate a wide range of internal 
frequencies. You get more sound per 
drum. You get total control. 

And the May EA 
stays out of your way. 
It eliminates mike and 
boom stands and frees up 
the batter head of your drum—frees up 
your playing. It cuts way back on set-up 
and break-down time, too. You just plug 
in and play. 

The system that turns on your drum. 

■ The specially designed shock mount eliminates mechan¬ 
ical vibration. 

m The external turning knob allows the system to l>e rotated 
a full ISO s for proximity effect , 

■ The 3 pin cannon plug connects the unit through a 
shielded cable to balance the line out for compatibility 
with live or studio boards . 

Look for the May EA at your local drum dealer 
or contact: May EA, 8312 Seaport Drive, 
Huntington Beach, California 92646, Phone 
(714) 536-2505. 

Listen for the May EA when played Uv these leading artists: Chad Wac Kerman with Crank Zappa Danny Seraphine with Chicago 

Carmine Appice with Ted Nugent Joe Lizinra with Johnny Mathis. 

The microphone element (a modified SM-57) is manufactured exclusively by SHORE BROTHERS, INC for May EA 
May EA is also available through Sllngerland Drum Company on all catalog drums 

_ May EA t> protected under t S PiUcm "-f.KVMHO Other l s anti Foreign paten is pending r T 



. about drums, os drummers often do. 

He woi thinking about how different the approach to drum sounds was 
before the advent of close-miking Aboul the resonance and dynamics you 
hear sometimes Oh Oh oid pig band record, when the recording technology 
consisted of one distant microphone to pick up the dr u ms (along the bass, 
piano, and half of the horns'), 

But how exciting if could sound, with drums flat-out. wfcSeyopen, and 
undamped, and with all of that ambience around them. Perhaps They were a 
bit distant, ond loss than distinct; bui ihore was something about the effect that 
was exciting and real 

then cume high fidelity, mulft-tracked, stereophonic, condensed, 
soparatod, equalized, noise gated, noiso-roducod, aurally awcited-technoiogy. 

So-o-o ail the sound engineers jn the world got together in a huge 
conspiracy, ond convinced we drummers that the "dead" sound of big thick 
drums, de-tu ned heads, and wads of damping was the Only way to get a good 
drum sound. 

Wb were asked to take Off Our resonating heads, caver our bat ter heads with 
tope, gei rid of those over-tones, fill our bass drums with buffalo chips, oil our 
bass pedals, ond tape our pttifuily-fhln wallets to the snare drums 

On sure, it is true, when a teener is a few feet away overtones and subtle 
nuances become part of the overall character and tonality of the drumkiT, but 
when a microphone {or a listener f) r$ a few inches away, these things become 
difficult and sometimes objectionable. 

But what if you don't like dead drums? Whor if you like live drums? Whor if 
you like living, breathing, ringing, booming, snapping, crashing drums - the 
way they really sound 1 

He was Bunking about other wooden instruments, like the acoustic guitar, 
or the acoustic violin, where the warmth and Character of the instru merit is 
largely determined by ihe thinness and perfect consistency of the wood. So 
why shouldn’t thin drum shells sound better than thick ones? And rf you tuned 
them carefully, and matte sure the inside of the shell was as perfect as wood 
could oe? Why not? 

He didn't know. 

But the men in the white coats, instead of faking him away, put their heads 
tagelher at Tama Drums, and developed a new kind of thinner drumsheil, just 
for him they began wilh a basic Blrchwood shell for that traditional warm 
sound, sheathed it in an exotic South American hardwood {Cordio) to sharpen 
the attack, and ihen added a very rhin lonmnateci sealer to even out any 
inconsistencies. Ail of this, ihey thought, should give him that purer and more 
resonant tonality he is looking for. 

And what do you know? It worked! 

The drummer tried out a prototype kit for a solid year of touring and 
record'np, and ne was very impressed. {Even if he does say so himself!) 

At las? he had killed ihe dead drums, these drums were oil the snapping, 
thundering, living animal he had wanted to hear, but they were tome enough 
to store down the muzzle of a condensor microphone. Rawness ond 
refinement Tradition and technology 

isn't it nice once In a while when things turn out the way you hoped 
they would? 

Neil Peart 

New Tama Artstar Set 


For the thinking drummer.,, 

for a full color cofofog send $2.00 to: tamo. Dept MD, PQt Bo* 6B& Banisnem. Pa 19Q2Q. 
P.o tor200<>. IdahoFolis. id.63flOV 17421 "S' fccfiirGaieAve.ptyol indusiry Co 01748 
in Canada . 035S Par* Ave MonhoaJP.Q. H2V4M5 

by Lee Doland 

Accented Press Rolls 

The accented press roll, with an underlying 16th-note pulse, is an 
excellent addition to any hand-conditioning program, as well as 
being a very effective 15- to 30-minute daily warm-up. 

Each of the 24 exercises below should be repeated a minimum of 
10 times. A short break between each exercise is recommended. 
However, consecutive playing of all 24 exercises (10 times each) 

would be most beneficial in the development of endurance. 

Be sure to play the roll approximately 2" off the drum or pad, 
making all accents from a level of 9" to 10". Each exercise should 
also be practiced leading with both right and left hands. 

Make these exercises a part of your daily practice routine. You'll 
be amazed at the results. 

J= 112 

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MAY 1983 





Operator #120 


MODeRfl ’ 


Illinois residents 

No Foreign Orders 

rue MANee me 

tAt'im *(ivt M4V 1 ™ 





MAY 1983 


by Roy Bums 




J 1. 

Buddy Rich has been a famous drummer 
for as long as I can remember. I first heard 
him on records in the early '40s when I was 
around seven years old. I met Buddy in 
person in New York City when I was in my 

Buddy's career has spanned more dec¬ 
ades than any other drummer in history. 
And, he didn't just survive, he has always 
been at the top. The mental attitudes 
needed for such a tremendous career could 
help all of us. 

Buddy can be startingly honest about 
himself and others. He shoots from the hip 
verbally. He says what is on his mind. 
Some of what he says I agree with and 
some of what he says I don't. No matter— 
this column is not about any of that. 

Buddy has always been dedicated to do¬ 
ing his very best. He has always tried ex¬ 
tremely hard to play his best. In spite of 
health problems, career problems, money 
problems, family problems (which we all 
have from time to time), he always played 





Ralph C Pace 

■o* 63, CA. North Whffa Plaint, N T 10603 


Dedication to 

I've worked opposite him in a number of 
clubs and have seen him play in a variety of 
situations. He has a volatile personality 
and when things aren't going well he will 
definitely speak his mind. I have seen him 
refuse to play and walk off the stage. How¬ 
ever, when he decided to play he always 
gave it his best, and his best is great indeed. 

Less hardy souls or less dedicated ones 
might have given up drumming in light of 
his earlier heart problems. And then there 
was the trouble with his back. I've seen 
him play with such pain that he could not 
play the hi-hat with his left foot. However, 
no one in the audience knew it. He played 
great. He overcame the pain. 

Buddy personifies dedication, persever¬ 
ance, determination and a desire to get the 
most out of himself and those around him. 
He sets a high standard and has been 
known to be impatient with others. He can 
also be impatient with himself. 

I can't say that I know Buddy extremely 
well—I don't. However, I know that the 
attitudes he exemplifies can help all drum¬ 
mers develop their own potential more 
fully. The following ideas are not theories. 
They are based on my friendship with him 
and my observations of Buddy in action. 

1. Strive to be the best you can be. You 
may not have the talent to be a Buddy 
Rich, but you can be your best. Give it all 
you've got. 

2. Play the way you feel like playing; 
don't worry about what people say. Some 
will like it, some won't. Play your best for 
the people who do like you. Let the others 
worry about themselves. 

3. Don't get discouraged. Bounce back 
and keep bouncing back. Perseverance has 
many rewards. Remember, the more you 
bounce back the stronger you get. 

4. Keep developing. Buddy never 
changed his style. However, he continued 



to grow and develop his own point of view. 
Continual development is a side benefit of 
not giving up. 

5. Don't live in the past. Buddy's cur¬ 
rent big band never sounds like the '40s 
and neither does he. He seeks new arrang¬ 
ers, new music and never looks back. He 
keeps moving. 

6. Believe in yourself. If you are not a 
genius (as few of us actually are), believe in 
your ability to improve. Keep believing 
and learning all your life. We can always 
do better. 

7. Work hard! Buddy once said to me, 
referring to hard swing, "If you ain't 
sweating it ain't happening." You must 
make the effort. 

8. Seek out good people to play with. 
Buddy always looked to play with the best 
people around. 

9. Don't make excuses. If Buddy felt he 
didn't play well, he would be the first to say 
so. He also knew when he was on. 

10. Dedicate yourself to excellence in 
whatever you do. Buddy has made the 
comment, "When I play, I play!" 

To me, that means total concentration. 
Give it 100% or don't bother. If you play 
weekends, give each weekend all you've 
got. Make it a total effort. If you are a 
drum teacher, dedicate yourself to contin¬ 
ual learning so your teaching will remain 

It also suggests the old adage, "If a thing 
is worth doing, it is worth doing well." In 
fact, it is worth your very best effort. 

These attitudes are things that we can all 
learn from Buddy. Whether you are a 
Buddy Rich fan or not, real work and real 
accomplishments must be respected. The 
length of Buddy's career should be proof 
enough that he has demonstrated over and 
over his unswerving desire to do his best. 

Buddy's dedication to excellence is a les¬ 
son for all of us. It has been a great lesson 
for me. 

AVAILABLE. Over 25 chorees of Pearls, 
Sparkles, Satin Flames and Wood grains 
Send $1 00 for full information and samples 
{refundable on first order) PRECISION 
DRUM COMPANY, Dept. C n 151 Califor¬ 
nia Road; Yorktown Heights, N.Y. 10598 


MAY 1983 

A drummer's hands ... 

His most prized possession 

To insure the ultimate in creative 
achievement, a drummer must have at his 
fingertips the finest equipment available. 

Put your ^ 

the hands 
of the 




156 W. 48th St. 
n.Y., N.Y. 10036 
(212) 819-0577 

by Bob Saydlowski, Jr. 

A 1ode(5 

Practice Pads 

In the July '82 issue of MD, I reviewed 
practice pad kits by three manufacturers. 
These were actually practice drumsets, as 
they all used a drum head as their playing 
surface. Ralph Pace's models are true 
practice pad kits, using a wooden base and 
rubber surface. He currently has 28 kit 
models as well as 13 other special-purpose 
pads—all hand-made. 

Pure tan gum rubber is used for the play¬ 
ing surface, which can range from 6" to 
16" in diameter. The pad bases are poplar, 
plywood discs with a wooden post on the 
bottom. This mount post has five holes and 
attaches via a wing bolt and curved washer 
through one hole. For extra stability, small 
screws are provided which can be counter¬ 
sunk into an additional hole. All parts are 
finished in polyurethane varnish. 

All kit models include a square particle¬ 
board base. An upright bass drum post 
screws into the baseboard and has a brace 
on the back. The base drum pad is a square 
piece of thick, cushioned rubber, tacked 
onto the wooden post. At the bottom of 
the post is a steel plate for pedal mount¬ 
ing. It's adjustable to accommodate most 

The baseboard also serves as a platform 
for all other pad mounts. The snare and 
floor tom pads are on separate, fixed 
wooden posts, which are screwed into the 
baseboard. These posts are actually two- 
piece. Another wood post mounts on the 
side of the fixed post, and this is where the 
pad attaches. This adjustable post has 
holes which allow the post to be adjusted 
for height and forward tilt. The pads can 
also tilt towards the player due to their 
swivel-type mount, but distance between 
the two is fixed. The posts may also be 
strengthened by adding countersunk 

The tom-tom and/or ride cymbal pads 
are mounted on wood crossbars which at¬ 
tach to the backside of the bass drum post. 
The bars are adjustable for spread and 
height. The top of each crossbar is cut at an 
angle to allow proper pad mounting. Pace 
attaches sandpaper strips to the angle cut 
to give a better grip. One of the crosspieces 
is longer than the other to allow for mak¬ 
ing the right tom into a ride cymbal. The 
two mounted pads can be tilted towards 
the player, but not towards each other. 
The same goes for the snare and floor tom. 

Pace's Model #5 Pro Standard dupli¬ 
cates a five drum set-up and is comprised 
of two 13" pads for snare and floor tom 
and two 11" pads for the left and right 
toms. The bass drum post is made of a 
thick 3 1/2" x 4" rubber block. The base¬ 
board measures 20" x 14". Retail $120.00 

The Model #6 Pro Standard is a double 
bass set-up utilizing a larger baseboard, 
two separate bass drum posts with one 
tom-tom pad mounted on each post and 
separate snare and floor tom posts. Dis¬ 
tances between the two bass drum posts, as 
well as between the snare and floor tom, 
are fixed, but one could customize the set 
by drilling new holes for different post 
placements. Retail: $135.00. 

All of Ralph Pace's practice sets can be 
ordered with a Circular Heavy Duty Bass 
Drum Pad affixed to the upright post. This 
pad is a 17" diameter piece of plywood 
with the rubber block attached. A plastic 
molding surrounds the edge of the pad, 
giving it a more realistic bass drum appear¬ 

Pace also offers Deluxe Heavy Duty 
models. The swivel base under each ply¬ 
wood pad disc is twice the size of the 
Standard models. There is a formica piece 
between the rubber and the wood to fur¬ 
ther reduce sound. The wood discs them¬ 
selves are 3/4" thick and all pads have plas¬ 
tic edge moldings. 

Also available are Double-Mount-Re¬ 
versible models. Pace's idea of a reversible 
pad allows for the playing surface to be de¬ 
tached from the pad mount, leaving one 
disc base still on the pad set. Each pad has 

two plywood bases. The pad surface which 
was removed can be placed on your drum- 
set for practicing. Basically, two sets of 
pads are available with the double-mount- 
reversible system. 

A special, brush playing surface pad can 
be ordered to replace the regular snare 
drum pad on any set model. The surface is 
textured formica and gives quite a different 
sound. The surface is ideal for practicing 
with brushes. 

Two student models are made in four- 
and five-piece set-ups. They have 6" rubber 
pads mounted on hexagonal wood bases. 
The same mounting idea applies. These 
models are the lowest price of all manufac¬ 
turers, retailing at only $65.00 (Model #4) 
and $75.00 (Model 4T). 

All pad models are very quiet and have a 
solid sound and feel. I found the toms all 
have some sort of inherent pitch. As you 
go around the set, the pitch of each pad 
lowers, just like drums on a regular kit. 
The snare pad is quieter than the toms due 
to its 1/4" rubber, as compared to 3/16" on 
the tom-tom surfaces. 

Besides practice pad sets, Ralph Pace 
has various other pads to offer: The Model 
#7 is simply the bass drum upright post and 
baseboard from a pad set. This model 
could be helpful for the student who al¬ 
ready has a practice pad and stand, but 
needs something to duplicate a bass drum. 
Retail: $15.00. 

For those who want to practice on their 
own drumset, the Model #8 Pro Silent Bass 
Drum Practice Pad fits onto the batter 
head. The same square rubber cushion that 
is used on the pad kits is used here and 
mounted on an 8 1/2" wide piece of ply¬ 
wood which spans the height of the drum. 
It's held on by the drum pedal at the bot¬ 
tom, and at the top by any standard cow¬ 
bell holder clamp. A set screw is provided 
for more secure anchoring, if needed. 

For the rest of your drumset, various 
sized 3/4" thick pads will fit atop the batter 
heads. These have the plastic edge mold¬ 
ing, and are designed for the drummer 
with a kit set up for practice, who requires 


MAY 1983 

minimum of noise. The pads are available 
in 12" to 16" diameters and can also be 
used as stand-mounted practice pads. Var¬ 
iations of Model #14, the 14" pad, give dif¬ 
ferent pitches and volumes depending on 
the thickness of the rubber used. $ 10.00 to 
$ 20 . 00 . 

The right tom on any of the pad kits may 
be replaced with a ride cymbal pad, which 
uses thinner rubber and a thinner base than 
the drum pads. But, if you want to use 
your own cymbals, Pace has silencers for 
ride cymbals and hi-hats. Both are made of 
thin, floppy black rubber. The ride cymbal 
silencer has a large hole cut out to fit over 
the cymbal, leaving the bell exposed and is 
held on with metal spring clips. The pad 
totally deadens the cymbal, but gives am¬ 
ple stick rebound for fast patterns. The hi- 
hat silencer fits on the top rod of your hi- 
hat stand and is placed between the two 
cymbals. When playing the hi-hat with 
your foot, this pad deadens the "chick," 
making the hi-hat practically soundless. 
The hi-hat silencer is available in 12" to 15" 
diameters and retails at $8.00. The ride 
cymbal model is available for cymbals 16" 
to 22". Retail $9.00. 

Ralph Pace was first on the scene with 
practice pad sets and offers the largest se¬ 
lection by far. All models are made to or¬ 
der, handmade by Ralph himself. 

Most models come fully assembled. The 
large playing surfaces give a great drumset 
simulation. While perhaps not as compact 
and portable as the Remo, Calato, and 
Pearl pads, Ralph Pace's practice pad sets 
offer good quality, silent sound, and best 
of all in today's economy, down-to-earth 

All models are available direct, or can be 
found in select music shops. For more in¬ 
formation: Ralph C. Pace, Box 63, North 
White Plains, NY 10603. m 





blue with 
navy trim 

MD logo. 


(one size 


1000 Clifton Ave. a 
Clifton, NJ 




and Matching Rehearsal Cap 









ALLOW 4-6 





r mj 


MAY 1983 












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telesc. boom 





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half boom 





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telesc. boom 











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telesc. boom 












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boom arm only 





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telesc. boom 




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Pal No 258 BOS 

Buy Direct from Manufacturer 

* Hand Crafted from Quality Maienals 

* Projects a Full Clear Sound (3 Octaves ) 

* Design Eliminates Excessive Ringing, 

* Brass Mallei Included with all Models 

Send Check or Money Order (Postage Patti} DBA LEGS 

1 Pelham Plaoe * Bergenfield, N.J. 07621 


presented by 

Chef Doboe 


Call today to hear 
hot drum ideas used 
by the Greats! 

fourth annual 

Jazz Drumming Workshop 

June 13 ■ IB, 1983 
Onto University, Athens, OH 


ED SOPH, Yomota C^nf-c/an 

Bob Breithaupf, Capital LL 
Guy Remonko, Qhto U. 

m Private ie$<oni 

• Coordination, style end technique seminars 
{intermediate and advanced levels) 

• Solo techniques 

• University credit [grad and undergroduote] 

• Much, much mare 
Minimum age: 15 

Far further information, contact: 

Jgi t Drumming Workshop, School of Music 
Qhio Uni vers Hy. Athens OH 45701 
(614) 594 - 6656 


MAY 1983 







































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double boom 







boom arm only 

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MAY 1983 



Columbia Contemporary Masters 

port Jazz Festival: Live. Co¬ 
lumbia C2-38262 

Come Eleven. Columbia FC- 

STAN GETZ—The Master. 
FC 38272 

All Played Bebop. C2-38039 

These 12 releases under Colum¬ 
bia's Contemporary Masters 
Series are truly remarkable. It's 
a significant collection in many 
respects. Any jazz buff will be 
familiar with the names of the 
artists. But, Columbia has 
served up significant portions 
of previously unreleased mate¬ 
rial by these masters, that 
serves to fill historical/musical 
voids, and from a drummer's 
perspective we have an almost 
complete chronological listen¬ 
ing experience of many first- 
class jazz drummers. Space for¬ 
bids giving just attention to 
these records, but we did want 
to highlight some of the drum¬ 
mers featured on each album. 

Newport Jazz Festival: Live 
was recorded in '56, '58 and 
'63, and features Sonny Greer, 
Sam Woodyard, Roy Burns, 
Roy Haynes, Jo Jones, Joe 
Morello, Jimmy Cobb, Frankie 
Dunlop, Louis Hayes and 
David Bailey with bands such 
as Louis Armstrong's All- 
Stars, Duke Ellington's Or¬ 
chestra, The Newport Jazz Fes¬ 


Broken Shadows. FC-38029 

tival House Band, The Dave 
Brubeck Quartet, The Miles 
Davis Quintet and the Gerry 
Mulligan Quartet. A terrific 
way to familiarize yourself with 
classic jazz drumming styles 
from many eras. 

Benny Goodman's Seven 
Come Eleven was recorded in 
1975. "Here is Benny Good¬ 
man the way he sounds today 
. . . more or less." Drummer 
Grady Tate does a fine job in 
quintet, sextet and octet set¬ 
tings, swinging Goodman clas¬ 
sics like "Seven Come Eleven," 
and more current popular tunes 
like "Send In The Clowns." 

Getz's The Master is previ¬ 
ously unreleased material re¬ 
corded in 1975, with Billy Hart 
on drums, Albert Dailey on pi¬ 
ano, Clint Houston on bass and 
Getz on tenor sax. Billy Hart— 
like all the musicians on the 
date—plays excellently on these 
extended cuts. 

They All Played Bebop 
should be in every drummer's 
library. This album features 
drummers Jo Jones, Osie John¬ 


Girl’s Suite And The Perfume 
Suite. FC-38028 

son, Elvin Jones, Philly Joe 
Jones, Albert Heath, Mel 
Lewis, Jimmy Wormworth, A1 
Foster, Mickey Roker and Le¬ 
roy Williams, in small group 
settings with master piano play¬ 
ers in the bebop tradition. Ray 
Bryant, Hank Jones, Tommy 
Flanagan, Red Garland, Cedar 
Walton, John Lewis, A1 Haig, 
Barry Harris and Walter 
Bishop, Jr. are some of the pi¬ 
anists on this album. An excel¬ 
lent audio lesson in the art of 
accompaniment with drumset. 
Recorded from 1955 to 1977. 

Art Blakey is a tiger! He and 
The Jazz Messengers smoke, 
burn and finally explode on 
Originally. This album was 
done in '56 with the original 
band and the next variation, 
featuring Donald Byrd and Bill 
Hardman on trumpets, Hank 
Mobley and Ira Sullivan on 
reeds, Wilbur Ware, Spanky 
DeBrest and Doug Watkins on 
bass, and Horace Silver, Kenny 
Drew and Sam Dockery on pi¬ 
ano. Pay close attention to the 
rhythmic left hand of Horace 

Years. C2-38033 

Silver for a lesson on how to 
drive a band. 

Art Farmer's quintet on The 
Time And The Place was a 
short-lived but superb band 
featuring Mickey Roker on 
drums, Jimmy Heath on tenor 
sax, Cedar Walton on piano, 
Walter Booker on bass, and 
Farmer on trumpet and fluegel- 
horn. This album was recorded 
live in 1967 and serves as a bril¬ 
liant introduction to Mickey 
Roker. Roker is a true musi¬ 
cian/drummer who can do any¬ 
thing, anytime, anywhere. 

Drummers Ed Blackwell and 
Billy Higgins rip it up on Or¬ 
nette Coleman's Broken 
Shadows. On most cuts the 
drummers play individually, 
but on "Happy House" they're 
together; perhaps the model for 
two drummers playing jazz. All 
of these tracks are released for 
the first time on this album and 
"... presents a wide-angle 
view of Coleman's music, 
played by the men who know it 

Duke Ellington's The Girl’s 

At The Jazz Workshop. C2- 


MAY 1983 


ART BLAKEY— Originally. 

Suite And The Perfume Suite 
". . . contains two suites, one 
often played in public [The Per¬ 
fume Suite], the other never 
heard in its entirety outside the 
recording studio." Both suites 
were recorded in 1961 with Sam 
Woodyard on drums. Wood- 
yard's drums sound fantastic 
and his contribution to El¬ 
lington's band deserves to be 

Drummers and trumpet play¬ 
ers have always had an affinity 
for one another. There's little 
that can top a hot drummer/ 
hot trumpeter combination. 
Roy Eldridge is one of the all- 
time best hot trumpet men. The 
Early Years features Roy 
Eldridge with Teddy Hill & His 
Orchestra, Teddy Wilson & His 
Orchestra, Mildred Bailey & 
Her Orchestra, Gene Krupa & 
His Orchestra and Roy 
Eldridge with his own orches¬ 
tra. An excellent swing-style 
drummer himself—in fact, Roy 
would often take over the drum 
chair in Gene Krupa's band— 
Roy is heard in big bands with 

AtTheltCluh. C2-38030 

And The Place. C2-38232 

Bill Season, Zutty Singleton, 
Cozy Cole and Gene Krupa on 
drums. Buy it! 

Live At The Jazz Workshop 
and Live At The It Club feature 
Monk's Quartet with Charlie 
Rouse on tenor sax, Larry 
Gales on bass, and Ben Riley on 
drums. We don't know if it's 
possible to consider yourself a 
jazz musician if you aren't at 
least familiar with Monk's mu¬ 
sic. Ben Riley plays sensational. 
He's superb as an accompanist 
and a first-class soloist. Monk's 
tunes seem to have a magic ef¬ 
fect on drummers. 

Finally, Live At The Plugged 
Nickel features the classic Miles 
Davis quintet with Ron Carter, 
Herbie Hancock, Wayne 
Shorter and Tony Williams. 
Tony Williams is always worth 
listening to. This 1965 record¬ 
ing has been available as a Jap¬ 
anese import, but this is its first 
release in the States. One more 
log on the Tony Williams fire; 
one more record to marvel at; 
one more awesome session 
from an awesome band. m 

Plugged Nickel. C2-38266 

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MAY 1983 




At the age of 25, Ken wood Dennard is in a 
position many drummers would envy. For 
the past two years he has been playing in 
one of the top groups in the world, Man¬ 
hattan Transfer. Previously, Kenwood 
had stints with Dizzy Gillespie and Brand 

In addition to his work with Manhattan 
Transfer, Kenwood is busy with his solo 
act, drum clinics, composing and his own 
record company, Unisphere Records. 

MD: What got you interested in the 

KD: I was inspired by another drummer I 
saw in an outdoor program around the 
Lower East Side. He was about ten years 
old and was really wailing. I was eight or 
nine and I said to myself, "I could do that 

MD: Once you became involved with the 
drums what kind of music did you play? 
KD: Once I got involved in music, I felt 
Motown was what was happening. I lis¬ 
tened to whatever was on the radio in the 
early '60s: the Beatles, Frankie Lyman, 
Frankie Avalon, Beach Boys, James 
Brown, the Four Seasons and so on. Those 
were the things I was listening to, but I 
didn't necessarily feel that they fit my style. 
Many of the drum tracks were just part of 
the whole music and they were not some¬ 
thing that I would particularly focus on. 
For example, with the Beach Boys it would 
have been a case of the drums detracting 
from the music. You wouldn't want a 
drum track to get in the way of all that har¬ 

mony. Same thing with the Transfer on a 
song like, "A Nightingale Sang in Berkley 

MD: Did you take lessons? 

KD: Yeah. I studied with a cat named Wil¬ 
lie Kesseler, who was an old-fashioned 
player. He used to do stuff with Cozy Cole 
and I think he's still around. He's a great 
teacher, a very unorthodox cat, but he got 
thejob done and I learned a lot. He used to 
sit me down and play rhythms and I'd copy 
them. We would also trade fours. I was 
eight or nine at the time and he thought it 
was a big thing. He used to call people into 
the room and say, "Yeah, check out my 
student." In fact, I even taped some les¬ 
sons on a little recorder. I don't know what 
happened to them. 

MD: Was that your first formal instruc¬ 

KD: Yeah. I started really early. The point 
to be made is that this was good, but it was 
only one part of my experience. I had to 
open up and listen to some cats who were a 
little hipper for my time, compared to the 
swing era. 

MD: You mean more of a bebop style? 

KD: Yeah. I got into Tony Williams and a 
number of other people. 

MD: What music school did you go to and 
why did you choose that particular school? 
KD: I went first to the Manhattan School 
of Music, prep department and then to the 
Manhattan School of Music. It should be 
noted that I began to explore other styles 
and got hip to Elvin Jones and started get¬ 
ting more into jazz. Before that, I was 
studying in a more old-fashioned vein with 

MD: What other schooling did you have? 
KD: While in the prep department I was 
also taking private lessons with Charlie Si¬ 
mon, who later did The Wiz and who has 
the Harlem Bell Choir, which is beautiful. 
I saw them on T.V. two years ago when I 
was in Europe with Manhattan Transfer. 
He was great. He got me more into sight 
reading. He was a strict disciplinarian with 
a good sense of humor. Later, I went to 
Berklee because I dug the brochure. My 
mother wanted me to go to Julliard be¬ 
cause that's where she went. 

MD: Who were some of the teachers who 
inspired you at Berklee? 

KD: Gary Burton, Alan Dawson and Herb 
Pomeroy. Burton was inspiring because he 
was so methodical. I learned a lot about 
vibes from him and a lot about the theory 

of improvisation. 

MD: Besides playing with Manhattan 
Transfer you have a solo act in which you 
play drums, keyboards and sing at the 
same time. Tell us more about that. 

KD: That's my secret weapon; my ace in 
the hole. That's an "in-the-basement" 
type of thing. I've been doing it for quite 
some time, but I want to perfect it to a level 
of excellence. 

MD: How long have you been playing the 

KD: Since the age of eight. 

MD: Did your mother want you to take up 
the piano? 

KD: Sure. My major at Berklee was com¬ 

MD: Do you find playing the keyboards 
and singing helps your drumming, and vice 

KD: Both playing the piano and singing 
help one's drumming. You don't have to 
be a virtuoso, but it's good to sing if you're 
a drummer. Alan Dawson used to have me 
do that. He has his students sing in particu¬ 
lar forms while taking drum solos. It's real 

MD: What do you mean by forms? 

KD: Well a form is a musical shape or out¬ 
line to a piece. Now there are different 
types of forms, such as AABA. It's good 
for drummers to learn forms and singing is 
one way of doing it. If you're following the 
melody, you're following the form. 

MD: What has playing with the Manhat¬ 
tan Transfer done to make you a better 

KD: Put me under pressure, especially in 
relation to time. 

MD: Did you have to make any kind of 
adjustments when you started playing with 
Manhattan Transfer? 

KD: This is the first time I've worked with 
a four-piece singing group. There were 
some technical adjustments. They use a lot 
of backbeats and stuff. I began riding with 
the traditional grip with my left hand on 
the hi-hat and playing the backbeats with 
my right hand using the butt end of the 
stick. That's the "hinge technique." 

MD: Was it hard for you to change over? 
KD: I assume you mean from right-hand 
ride to left-hand ride. The "hinge tech¬ 
nique" was developed specifically for this. 
The left-hand ride I developed while teach¬ 
ing at Drummer's Collective. Everything I 
taught students, I taught myself. It took 
me about a year to develop it. 


MAY 1983 

by Ronald Hayek & David Corsi 


MD: Playing with Manhattan Transfer 
gives you the chance to play many styles. 
KD: Yes. I get to use a lot of different styles 
and it affords me the opportunity to have 
some input into the music. No one can 
think of everything so, obviously, if I come 
up with an idea and it's good and everyone 
digs it, it's used. 

It's interesting because you have to be 
real precise and consistent. The beats that I 
play are beats that have evolved over the 
past two years. It gradually changes. You 
cannot play one thing tonight, something 
different the next night and something else 
the night after. 

MD: What kind of equipment do you use? 
KD: My set contains various brands. I use 
different drums and piece them together 
into different sets. 

MD: What about your cymbal set-up? 

KD: I use a 16" swish, which I've never 
seen on the market but they'll probably 
come out with one. They're good for a 
quick attack. 

MD: A. Zildjian? 

KD: Yeah, Zildjian. I use a brilliant ride 
cymbal. I got the idea from Lenny White. 
It's a nice heavy cymbal with a big bell. I 
also have an upside-down stage knocker. I 
use Zildjian heavy hi-hats, a brilliant crash 
16", and 17" and 18" crashes on my left 

MD: Do you use any special recording 
techniques in the studio and do you have a 
lot to say about your miking set-up? 

KD: Yeah, as a matter of fact. When I've 
been in the studio it's mainly been with the 
projects that I'm co-producing or that are 
being done with close friends of mine. I use 
the same engineer, Tony Rodriguez, and 
so I have input into the mic' set-up. For 
different styles I use different techniques. 
For example, the drum set-up I had with 
the Transfer at the Garden State Arts Cen¬ 
ter utilized four tracks; one for the bass 
drum, one for the snare drum, one for the 
tom-toms and the cymbals. I put a mic' on 
the floor in front of the bass drum. 

MD: Playing live, would you use a differ¬ 
ent set-up depending on the size of the 

KD: With the Transfer, Dan Castings does 
the miking so it's pretty consistent from 
night to night. I guess he operates his 
equipment differently in different halls but 
the equipment and the miking remain the 

In terms of whether or not there's a spe¬ 

cific studio technique, you just have to be 
very aware of what you are playing and 
take every situation as it comes, realizing 
that everything you play is indelibly 
pressed on tape. So you have to be on top, 
as time is very important in the studio. 

Padding is very important. Engineers 
are helped greatly if they have a cat who 
knows what he's doing; knows how to 
muffle his drums. It saves a lot of time. 

In Japan I learned a technique for muf¬ 
fling. Take two strips of tape—one about 
three inches long, the other about five 
inches long. Then, take some tissue and 
fold it to make a two-and-a-half inch 
square. Put the three-inch tape on top and 
then put the five-inch tape a little further 
back. It works really well for all the drums, 
except of course the bass drum where you 
use pillows or bean bags. 

MD: You do a lot of drum clinics. Can you 
compare drum clinics and private instruc¬ 

KD: A drummer can gain a lot from the 
clinics and get a lot from private lessons. 
Most people prefer private lessons. One 
thing a clinic can do is offer input from 
peers, which private lessons can't. There 
are a lot of different ideas flying around at 

With small clinics, I have personal input 
into everyone in the class. They can sit 
down and play and I can teach them as if it 
was a private lesson. Bigger clinics are 
more like a demonstration where you go 
and play, explain what you did, and an¬ 
swer questions. 

MD: What techniques do you concentrate 
on with your students? 

KD: That depends on the individual who 
comes in for the lesson. I concentrate first 
on rhythms and take it from there. I have 
three different areas; physical, mental and 
creative. Physical is the actual jumping on 
the set, doing chops, taking solos. Mental 
is reading and theory. It's important for a 
drummer to have some knowledge of 
chords or theory so he'll know what's go¬ 
ing on. The creative part is shaping solos; 
spiritually expressing yourself through the 

MD: Do you teach your students tradi¬ 
tional or matched grip first? 

KD: I start beginners with the matched 
grip because I find it easier for them to un¬ 
derstand. Over a period of time, they seem 
to be able to handle many different styles 
using the matched grip. Both grips are use¬ 

ful. The traditional grip is indispensable 
for most styles of jazz, especially bebop. 
Now I ride with my left hand in the tradi¬ 
tional grip and there's a reason for that. 
The traditional grip is good for playing ob¬ 
jects close to you, while the matched grip is 
good for playing objects which are farther 

MD: Do you use a lot of finger control with 
the matched grip? 

KD: Yeah, I developed it myself. I was go¬ 
ing to be taught finger control by Charlie 
Simon, but something happened and I 
wasn't studying with him anymore. So, I 
made up my own finger control and called 
it the "Wood Stroke." 

MD: Besides playing the drumset, do you 
also have experience in playing percus¬ 

KD: I' ve played some percussion with the 
Municipal Symphony Orchestra in Cara¬ 
cas, Venezuela. I did a lot of orchestral 
work while studying at Berklee and a 
couple of concert things in New York. 

MD: What advice would you give to young 

KD: If it had to be one thing it would be to 
"jump in the lake" and swim. 

MD: A baptism of experience. 

KD: In terms of being well-rounded, they 
have to have a lot of possibilities that I was 
given, such as a good teacher, playing a lot 
of different styles and listening a lot. Play 
with musicians with more experience. 

MD: Are there drummers that you ad¬ 

KD: Tommy Rendall. I shared a lot of stuff 
with him when I went to Berklee. Also Vin- 
nie Colaiuta, Billy Cobham, Billy Hart 
and Max Roach. 

MD: Your major at Berklee was composi¬ 
tion. Do you still compose? 

KD: My composing goes on all the time, 
and by the time I'm 50 or 60 I'd like to be 
known as a serious composer. 

MD: What does the future hold for Ken¬ 
wood Dennard? 

KD: For a while, I'll probably just play on 
the road and work on other projects with 
Unisphere Records, the record company I 
co-founded in 1980. Then I'll be getting 
into my own thing. I'm going to come out 
with an extraordinary band that allows me 
to explore, technically, a lot of things. 

I'll also put together a more commercial 
group. Of course I'll play on other peo¬ 
ple's sessions. Once you have your own al¬ 
bum out, that doesn't mean you stop play¬ 
ing on other people's sessions. » 

MAY 1 983 


by Simon Goodwin 

Adjusting For Softer Drumming 

Many of the name drummers who appear 
in Modem Drummer are concerned with 
high volume and projection of their sound. 
This subject comes up regularly in connec¬ 
tion with development of technique, 
choice of equipment, tuning and miking. 
These players usually perform in large 
halls in front of audiences who are there 
specifically to listen, and who don't mind if 
the volume level prevents easy conversa¬ 
tion. These performers have reached a 
level of success at which they automati¬ 
cally command attention. It must be re¬ 
membered, however, that they are in the 
minority, and that for a large percentage 
of working drummers, a thunderous tech¬ 
nique is not considered a virtue, and a 
drumset which cuts through all opposition 
is a liability. 


There are many different musical situa¬ 
tions where quiet playing is required. 
There are styles of music which in themsel¬ 
ves are quiet—small group jazz, or possi¬ 
bly folk. Accompanying shows often calls 
for a great deal of finesse when singers on 
stage are poorly amplified, if amplified at 
all. Probably the most common situation 
is playing in a lounge or restaurant in 
which obtrusive music is unwelcome, but 
in which the band is still expected to pro¬ 
duce everything from soft background 
music to the latest rock hits. 

"Fine," you say. "So the background 
music is soft, and the stuff for the audience 
to jump about to is loud." Wrong! If the 
room is small, or if some customers want 
to dance while others want a quiet drink 
and a chat, the music must remain at an 
acceptable level. This doesn't mean that 
your rendition of "Fame" has to be ex¬ 
actly the same volume as "When Sunny 
Gets Blue," but the band can’t suddenly 
start to roar. 

So here is where the problem occurs. 
Drummers playing loud music can be loud 
all the time, and drummers playing quiet 
music can adapt their equipment, tech¬ 
nique and mental approach to playing qui¬ 
etly. It's the drummer who plays the type 
of music which is normally loud, but has to 
do it quietly, who has a special set of prob¬ 
lems. Because by holding back, the drum¬ 
mer is losing mental attack, an important 
factor in producing a feel. Certainly an ad¬ 

justment in technique is required, but in 
order to produce the best results, this must 
be coupled with a reappraisal of tuning, 
equipment, set-up and approach. 

Of course, instead of relying on a lighter 
touch, you could take the other course and 
dampen the drumset so much that it 
doesn't matter how hard you hit it, the 
sound produced is minimal. Although this 
method is not recommended, it does have 
the advantage that you can thrash away, 
enjoy yourself, and probably transmit 
some of your enthusiasm to the rest of the 
band. For the drummer who must put a lot 
of physical effort into the playing, but is in 
danger of getting fired for being too noisy, 
this is the possible answer. The disadvan¬ 
tage with this is that the sound which 
reaches the audience, although at an ac¬ 
ceptable volume, will usually be unmusical 
and unattractive. 


You probably have an ideal sound you 
want from your drums. This is when all the 
variables are adjusted to your personal 
preference. Whether you are a beginner or 
a seasoned professional, you make your 
choices based on your ears, heart and 
head. When adjusting your set for quiet 
playing, it's best to start with your ideal 
sound and then go on to consider what ad¬ 
justments need to be made to reduce the 
volume. If you start with the set sounding 
just as you like it, there's a good chance 
that you'll be able to reduce the volume 
without changing the sound too drasti¬ 

It's possible that you already employ 
some form of damping. If so, you may find 
it sufficient, otherwise you can experiment 
with increasing it. Open drums are very 
difficult to use in the type of situations 
which I am talking about. Some damping 
would become necessary. However, if 
you're the sort of player who feels at home 
with open drums, you're probably used to 
playing with a good deal of control any¬ 
way, so the damping need not be too great. 


On the basis that double-headed toms 
carry better than single-headed ones, it 
would be logical to assume that a good first 
step would be to remove the bottom heads. 
This is not the case. Remember two things 
here: you'll be employing a more gentle 

technique, and you still want a good drum 
sound. Single-headed toms need to be 
whacked quite hard to get the best tone out 
of them. If you damp the head of a single¬ 
headed drum, you're reducing the re¬ 
sponse of the only vibrating surface and 
changing the actual drum sound more than 
should be desirable. For those players with 
single-headed tom-toms who wish to adapt 
them for quiet playing, I'd recommend 
that you experiment with taping pieces of 
felt, or folded tissue paper, to the inside of 
the shell before you try damping the head. 
These mufflers should be no more than a 
quarter of the depth of the drum and 
should fit easily between the set of screws 
which hold the tension rods in place. They 
should be close to the underside of the 
head, but not touching it. Start with two of 
these mufflers on either side of the drum 
and add more if necessary. 

There is a slight variation I've found 
ideal for damping tom-toms. Use a piece 
of felt, or a folded duster, and attach it to 
the rim of the drum on the side furthest 
from you. Do not use tape, but rather, a 
small bulldog clip used for fixing paper to 
clip boards and drawing boards. They're 
cheap and can be bought in any shop that 
sells office equipment. These clips are 
much easier and cleaner to use than tape, 
and you can remove them or make adjust¬ 
ments with extreme ease. I have found that 
a piece of material about 6" by 4", clipped 
to the rim half-way along its longest side, is 
ideal for all tom-toms from 10" to 16". 
This is rather surprising in that the smaller 
drums have a larger proportion of their 
head surface covered by the damper than 
the larger ones do. The ease with which the 
amount of damping material can be varied 
makes this method preferable to using the 
external clip-on dampers supplied by some 
drum companies. Obviously this method 
cannot be used on the bottom head. If you 
feel the need to damp the bottom head, 

t'im r MUnl rirLtC }V\ft 


MAY 1983 

Introducing the 



by Dalcam g 


A Breakthrough 
in Drum Tuning 




The new high-tech way to tension and 
tune all drums quickly and accurately. 
The tuning of each drum can be readily 
changed or duplicated, always 
providing the specific sound and stick 
response you prefer. Fits all drums. 

Please send me more information 


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the PROS go 

you'll have to resort to tape, either on its 
own, or supporting padding. However, as 
a rule, the damping on the batter head can 
absorb some of the impact from the stick, 
while the bottom head will vibrate more 
freely, giving the drum its musical tone. So 
go easily with the bottom head. 

The same rules apply here as with the 
tom-toms. Start with your ideal sound and 
proceed to try to get it quieter without 
changing the quality more than you can 
help. I'd advise you not to do anything to 
the snares or the snare head. If you do, it 
will make the drum sound quite different. 
Concentrate your efforts on the batter 
head. If you use brushes, you might find 
that having part of the head's surface cov¬ 
ered with a piece of cloth is a nuisance. The 
easiest way around this is to tape a small 
piece of material (or tissue paper) on the 
inside of the head. If you have an internal, 
screw-on type damper in your snare drum, 
it's a good idea to stick the padding di¬ 
rectly above where this damper would 
come to rest against the head. Then you 
can use the two dampers in conjunction 
with one another. If you think the padding 
should be pressing more firmly, you can 
tighten the screw damper, which will pull it 
into position. The padding taped to the 
head helps to prevent those annoying rat¬ 
tles which can occur with screw-on 

Another possibility—it you don't want 
anything fixed to the batter head—is to put 
a thin felt strip under the head, held in 
place between the rim of the head and the 
drumshell, similar to what you might do 
with a bass drum. Avoid putting the strip 
right across the center of the drum as this 
will kill the tone completely. 

If you like the batter head of your snare 
drum a little on the loose side, you'll need 
to have it a bit tighter for quiet playing. 
The damping you have employed will re¬ 
duce the crispness of the drum so that it 
will no longer sound the same unless the 
head is tightened. Also, using lighter sticks 
and playing technique, you'll probably 
find certain things more difficult to execute 
unless you make the head more responsive. 


Even drummers who have no dampers 
on their snare drums and tom-toms usually 
employ some form of damping in the bass 
drum. This makes the problem easier. To 
make the drum quieter, you just increase 
the damping. 

In the case of the bass drum, it's much 
easier to deal with one head than two. The 
batter head is large enough to be damped 
sufficiently and still retain its tone. Playing 
in a quiet situation, you won't need the ex¬ 
tra carrying power which the front head 
gives. Of course, the standard compromise 
here is to use a front head with a hole cut in 
it. This means that you can rearrange the 
muffling materials inside the drum. There 
is no reason why a double-headed bass 
drum should not be muffled with pillows or 
blankets. But without the hole, you have to 
take off the head if you want to change 
anything. There are external dampers 
which clip onto the bass drum hoop. I'm 
reluctant to knock anybody's product, but 
I've found that because of the tonal depth 
of the bass drum, these always rattle unless 
they're screwed up tighter than I find desir¬ 
able. I've seen drummers with double¬ 
headed bass drums wedge pillows up 
against the front head and put things like 
rolled up towels between the batter head 
and the pedal posts. This not only looks 
untidy, but it's uncertain that the muffling 
will stay in position. 

Now let's be positive. I've found that a 
large hole cut in the front head (leaving 
about 4" around the edge) leaves me with 
only one head to tune, easy access to the 
muffling inside, and the front hoop on the 
drum. It also helps to keep the drum in 
shape, protects the bearing edge and is bet¬ 
ter visually. 

In the same way that drummers who use 
heavy sticks should be prepared to change 
to lighter ones for quiet playing, drummers 
who use wood or hard synthetic beaters 
ought to change to felt. I use a loose felt- 
strip damper and a folded blanket in the 
bottom of the drum, resting against the 
head. A feather pillow is more generally 
accepted, but I like the blanket because it's 
versatile. Plus, it can be folded in a differ¬ 
ent way, giving more, or less, contact with 
the head. 

A general point about all the drums is 
that the overtones can be reduced by put¬ 
ting them slightly out of tune by gently 
slackening off two tension rods on oppo¬ 
site sides of the batter head. This can give a 
very pleasing effect from the tom-toms. 

continued on next page 


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It's quite common to see drummers with 
limited resources spending most of their 
budget on expensive drums, and then com¬ 
pensating for this by buying cheap cym¬ 
bals. Anyone who does this has got it the 
wrong way around. Any drum can be 
made to sound reasonably good with a bit 
of attention, but a bad cymbal will always 
be just that, and nothing can improve it. 
The fact that in normal set playing you 
play more notes on cymbals than you do 
on drums, should indicate the importance 
of cymbals. If a band is playing loudly and 
the drummer is not miked, it's possible for 
the sound of a bad cymbal to get lost in the 
overall sound of the band. If you are 
miked, or playing in a quiet situation, your 
cymbals are going to be heard. There is no 
substitute for good quality cymbals. A 
good cymbal will blend with the notes of 
the other instruments and will enhance the 
sound without getting in the way or cover¬ 
ing it up. There is a strange quality in the 
sound of a good cymbal. It can be played 
(at a reasonable volume) in a quiet musical 
setting without seeming too loud, and it 
can be played at the same volume behind 
louder music and still be heard. 

The point to be learned from this is that 
good cymbals and good playing are usually 
sufficient to insure that the cymbal sound is 
right in a quiet setting. I don't recommend 

tape on your cymbals since it causes them 
to vibrate unevenly and lose quality, as 
well as quantity, of sound. A bad, clangy 
cymbal can be helped by being taped, but 
this does not actually make it sound better. 
It simply reduces the clanginess, leaving 
you with more of the "clicky" sound of 
the stick. 

Cymbal felts can be used to reduce the 
amount of ring from a ride cymbal. The 
same thing applies to the top hi-hat cym¬ 
bal. In both cases, you must be careful to 
leave some movement in the cymbal. If it's 
screwed up too tightly between felts, there 
is a danger of it cracking, even when 
played at low volumes. The angle of tilt of 
the bottom hi-hat cymbal can also be re¬ 
duced, as can the gap between the two 

Crash cymbals are a slightly different 
matter. I don't advise tightening the cym¬ 
bal to reduce vibrations. The crash cymbal 
needs freedom of movement to function 
properly. The way you play it is the all-im¬ 
portant factor here. The distance that the 
tip of the stick travels between the snare 

drum and the crash cymbal is usually be¬ 
tween three and four feet. If you allow 
your arm to extend in a fast motion, leav¬ 
ing only the impact of stick against cymbal 
to check it, you're going to produce an un¬ 
controllably loud crash. The stick should 
slice at the crash cymbal with a circular 
motion, so that even as it hits it, the stick is 
starting to come away from it. Develop 
this technique and you'll be able to control 
the amount of force which goes into the 

There are cymbals which are more suit¬ 
able for quiet playing than others. I'm not 
going to attempt to catalog them, but for 
example, the Flat Ride type is very useful. 
A 16" crash is generally preferable to any¬ 
thing larger, and the standard weight of hi- 
hat cymbals are easier to play at low vol¬ 
ume than ones which are produced 
especially for their "cutting through" 
properties. A large cymbal with rivets can 
also be useful. I'd suggest the ordinary siz¬ 
zle ride cymbal in preference to a China 
type. You can ride on one of these with a 


MAY 1983 

stick or brush and produce a gentle, siz¬ 
zling crash which can fill out the sound 
without being obtrusive. 

The possibilities open to you when using 
your cymbals quietly is the principal de¬ 
light in this situation. You can get different 
sounds by playing on different parts of the 
ride cymbal. When the music is loud, this 
doesn't make much difference, but when 
it's quiet, you can hear the difference and 
it's like having two or three cymbals in 
one. You don't need to play so hard on the 
hi-hat. Many drummers play across the 
edge to get extra volume. Have you ever 
tried playing on the bell of the top hi-hat 
cymbal while opening and closing it? This 
produces a very effective sound in Latin 
numbers, but is easily lost if the band is 


In the same way that a bad-sounding 
cymbal can be covered up by a loud band, 
but will stick out like a sore thumb if the 
music is quiet, so will any rattles or 
squeaks from pedals, stands, stools or 
lugs. In the same way these noises can be 
picked up by microphones in other circum¬ 
stances, when you are playing quietly 
you'll be surprised just how audible they 
become. I've even been irritated by the 
sound of the butt ends of the sticks knock¬ 
ing against the buttons on the cuffs of my 

Be sure that you, and your set, are only 
making the sounds you intend to make. 
Any others should be ruthlessly elimi¬ 

nated. For further hints on how to deal 
with this, see James E. Murphy's very 
helpful article, "Getting The Noise Out Of 
Your Set" in MD August/September 


Keep in mind that when a percussion in¬ 
strument is hit, speed equals force of im¬ 
pact, which equals volume. Under normal 
circumstances, it's easier to play slowly 
and quietly than fast and quietly, because 
when your hands are moving quickly, 
they're producing more force, therefore, 
impact is greater. When low volume is re¬ 
quired, this problem can be alleviated to a 
certain extent by using a lighter pair of 
sticks. Lighter sticks reduce the force of 
impact by not contributing so much with 
their own weight. They encourage a more 
gentle approach and produce a more musi¬ 
cal sound from the cymbals. 

The distance the stick needs to travel be¬ 
tween various parts of the set is also of im¬ 
portance. If, at a fast tempo, one hand is 
playing consecutive 8ths on two drums 
which are 18 inches apart, the stick will be 
moving at quite a speed. Without forcing 
yourself into a cramped playing position, 
it's a good idea to make sure that the move¬ 
ment between drums and cymbals is no 
more than it needs to be for comfort. 
Then, armed with your lightweight sticks, 
go on to adjust the sound of the drumset 
and your own technique to produce the 
best possible results. 

Remember also, when making adjust¬ 

ments to your playing and your set, that it 
is possible to overdo it. Something which 
sounds loud in an empty and otherwise si¬ 
lent room can be easily absorbed when the 
rest of the band is playing and people are 
talking and dancing. Of course, we all 
know how people in a room act as mufflers 
for the acoustics of that room. You'll 
probably hear more of yourself than the 
people out front do. They hear more of a 
blend with the other instruments. If you 
have a friend out front, whose judgement 
you can trust, ask about the balance of the 
sound and whether you were too loud or 
insufficiently audible. Ask other members 
of the band. They'll tell you if you were too 
loud or too quiet. 

Playing quietly can be most enjoyable. 
What you may lose in the sense of power 
which loud music can give, you gain in a 
sense of awareness. There are intricate 
things you can play which don't work at a 
higher volume, either because they are cov¬ 
ered up by other instruments, or because 
it's not so easy to execute them. You'll find 
that your more intricate tricks can now be 
heard and you must resist the temptation 
to become too busy. You can enjoy the ac- 
coustic properties of your set and it's a 
pleasant feeling to know that you have all 
that power in reserve which you are con¬ 
trolling. Finally, remember to play for the 
band and for the music. That's your pri¬ 
mary function, regardless of how loud or 
quiet it is. w 

Study at home with Steve Gadd. 

And other leading drummers like Lenny White, Bernard Purdie, 
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These video taped master classes 

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MAY 1983 


by Ray Fransen 

Listening to Learn 

Sometimes, the technical challenges of 
drumming monopolize our energies and 
we easily forget our most important goal— 
musical development. Practicing, tech¬ 
nique and reading are very important, but 
they aren't goals in themselves. Primarily, 
making music requires that we first think a 
sound and then produce it on the instru¬ 
ment. A factor in achieving this end is the 
development of the ear so that it can dis¬ 
cern detail, form, concept and interplay. 
The following ideas should help develop 
musicality through careful listening to live 
and recorded music. 

When you listen, just listen! For many 
people, listening is an accessory to some 
other function, such as reading or conver¬ 
sation. If you're going to learn from listen¬ 
ing, try to concentrate on it totally. While 
watching TV, for instance, most people 
don't feel obligated to do anything else, 
feeling that by using their eyes, they are 
doing something. Yet, to these same peo¬ 
ple, it feels passive to sit and use only their 
ears.This is a pitfall for a musician in pur¬ 
suit of information. 

To really learn the instrument, try listen¬ 
ing to all types of music. You don't have to 
like everything, but try to be aware of 
diverse styles and the differences between 
them. Try viewing your record collection 
as a library; some volumes are for refer¬ 
ence, some are texts and others are for pure 
enjoyment. Some records may be used as 
"how-to" books. You don't have to listen 
only to learn, just be aware that all educa¬ 
tional material is not fun and vice versa. 

Because drums are primarily an accom¬ 


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panying instrument, it makes sense to lis¬ 
ten to players in a band other than the 
drummer. You can often learn more. 
Many of us tend to be "lick conscious." 
For instance, we'll pick up a tid-bit from a 
record, practice it for weeks and finally use 
it in our own groups. Only then do we hear 
(usually from other band members) that it 
doesn't work. This is because high-level 
drumming is not self-generated but is, 
instead, a product of mutual involvement 
and concentration within a band. Every¬ 
one in a group feeds off the ideas of the 
others so, a "stolen" lick won't work out 
of the context in which it was originally 
used. Try listening to the musicians on a 
record to see if you can tell what it was that 
they played that urged the drummer to 
move in a specific direction. 

Additionally, being too lick oriented can 
stifle personal creativity, leading many 
drummers to sound like second-rate imita¬ 
tions of their idols. Remember that any 
drummer who knocks you out is not doing 
so because he sounds like someone else. 
Each player has an individual voice that is 
the sum total of all his listening and play¬ 
ing experience, tempered by his own tastes. 
If you learn to listen to the other musicians 
on a record, you'll be practicing exactly 
what will be required of you in your own 
band. No other drummer will be there to 
lean on and you'll have to feed off the rest 
of the group. 

Try projecting your own playing ideas 
into your records. Once you've discovered 
how the player on the record made things 
work, try to see how you would do it. This 
also works with live performances. Picture 

yourself in the drummer's chair in as much 
detail as possible. If you hear the drummer 
play something that you might play, you 
may want to avoid watching him execute 
that particular figure in order to avoid pos¬ 
sible confusion in the way you might exe¬ 
cute it. In music, there is usually more than 
one correct way to play a piece. Your own 
ideas can be just as valid as those of the 
drummer you are listening to. 

Be careful about labeling things "good" 
and "bad." Some tend to call good those 
things which they already like, and label as 
bad those they don't care for. Objectively, 
a good drummer is one who works with the 
group towards the fulfillment of its con¬ 
cept. Speed, kit size and anything else is 
secondary to this ability. 

Finally, try to make objective observa¬ 
tions which will help you discover how a 
particular drummer functions as he does. 
Try to grasp the concept, rather than every 
little detail. Concept actually underscores 
a player's musical identity, separating him 
from all others. These differences could be 
in the areas of technique, phrasing, touch, 
tone or tuning. The drummer may stand 
out because he plays in contrast to, or com¬ 
plementary with the band. He may be a 
busy or a simple player. He may play on 
top of the beat or behind the beat. He may 
make unusual use of tension and release. 
What's important is the how and why of 
what you're hearing. Make an attempt to 
be familiar with as many aspects of playing 
as possible so your own style will be well- 
rounded and built upon a solid synthesis of 
many styles, with full knowledge of how 
they work. Good listening! > 



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MAY 1983 



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It is rare that a writer has a chance to col¬ 
lectively interview musicians noted for 
their amazing ability to perform together 
as a rhythm section. However, bassist Mel 
Craves and drummer George Marsh sur¬ 
pass that simple classification. They are 
performers of the highest calibre; innova¬ 
tors and explorers who go beyond the 
imagined boundaries of their respective in¬ 
struments. Their recently formed duo is a 
fine case in point. 

George Marsh and Mel Graves are intel¬ 
ligent, open minded, expressive individ¬ 
uals with fine senses of humor. The rea¬ 
sons their personal and musical 
relationship is successful is because of their 
shared attitudes about music, their ability 
to teach each other, and most important of 
all, they have allowed each other personal 
and collective growth. 

CB: Mel, as a bass player, do you need a 
drummer, and what qualities do you look 
for in a drummer? 

MG: I like to play music with a lot of differ¬ 
ent people, and in certain situations I 
wouldn't necessarily need a drummer. I'm 
sure George would agree with me when I 
say that everybody has to keep the time. So 
if we need a drummer in a group, it's for 
the sound and timbre; the individual and 
the special thing they do, rather than "we 
need a drummer." 

CB: In other words, the qualities you look 
for in a drummer are exactly the same 



nr |7 

lil 1 






A Dialogue with George 

qualities you look for in any other musi¬ 

MG: Exactly. 

CB: George, what do you look for in a bass 

GM:The bass player should hear what I'm 
playing and be able to understand that I'm 
playing phrases and melodies. That's one 
thing I'd want a bass player to understand. 
Therefore, it follows that a bassist per¬ 
forms in such a way that I can hear and 
understand what he's playing. With Mel, 
this happens all the time. I understand 
what he's playing and visa versa. There¬ 
fore, we can both play together. When 
we're working together, I can play one me¬ 
lodic phrase and he can play another at the 
same time. If I'm playing with other bass 
players and can't understand what they are 
playing, it's usually because of two rea¬ 
sons: One is because I could be playing too 
complex and should play simpler. Two, 
they're not listening to what I’m playing. 
CB: What's your responsibility as a drum¬ 

GM: Ultimately, my main responsibility is 
to listen and be able to have my "chops" 
well enough together that I can play what I 
hear. Also, my sense of time should be 
solid so I can lay down a good foundation. 
CB: Would you agree that if nobody in the 
band has a good sense of time then, at the 
very least, the drummer should? 

MG: No. The bottom line is if the drum¬ 
mer is the only one who has a good sense of 
time, then he should quit the band! 

GM: I would say that a drummer with a 
bad sense of time will have a more difficult 
time faking it than some other member of 
the band. A drummer has to absolutely 
have a good sense of time. And it should 
have a good feeling; a gut level feeling; an 
earth-bound feeling. 

MG: The bass and bass drum lay down the 
lowest, deepest feeling of the band that can 
connect to human beings. Rhythm is an 
important factor and it's very important 
that the bass drum and the low notes of the 
bass are played together. I hear rhythm 
sections in jazz with bass players playing 
on the top end of the instrument. They 
think they're cello players. Although I love 
the range of the instrument, I totally dis¬ 
agree with that concept. 

CB: George, was there anything else you 
wanted to add about the responsibilities of 

GM: Another responsibility is to be aware 
of the fact that drums have an incredibly 
wide dynamic range, from triple forte 
down to triple pianissimo. Drummers 
should learn how to use that dynamic 
range. As a drummer, control of dynamics 
is one way I get emotional feeling through 
the drums. It's a very potent method. Not 
only using dynamics, but also staying con¬ 
stantly aware of them. In a lot of situa¬ 
tions, if / don't, no one else will. It's im¬ 
portant for a drummer to be able to 
"cook," play phrases, or anything else 
you can think of, at all dynamic levels. It 
means being able to play from very loud to 
very soft and visa versa. It's an interesting 
problem because it's incredibly difficult to 
do. If you're able to do that with different 
musicians in various situations, you're 
able to raise the music way up. A drummer 
can arrange a tune by using and controlling 
dynamics. One situation I find interesting 
is that sometimes I'll be playing with other 
musicians, and I'll go way up in dynamics 
and people will assume that I'm going to 
stay at that volume, when all I'm going to 
do is go up and down in volume very 

CB: Have there been any rhythm sections 
that have been an important influence on 
either of you? 

GM: Philly Joe Jones, Paul Chambers and 
Red Garland, because they were loose, me¬ 
lodic and emotional. I also like Percy 
Heath and Connie Kay of the Modern Jazz 
Quartet. I liked the way they gave a lot to 
the music. They played for the music. That 
rhythm section was always cookin'. But 
they played for the overall effect. Their 
egos weren't totally involved in the music. 
Yet, you could always hear them. I like and 
appreciate that very much. 

CB: Can either of you recall the best advice 
you ever got on how to play in a rhythm 

MG: When I was fifteen, my first bass 
teacher hipped me to the "V" of a beat. He 
said that some grooves were just ahead of 
the "V," others were right in the "V," and 
other grooves were right in back of the 
"V." He also stated that as the time went 


MAY 1983 


Marsh and Mel Graves 

on in a tune, there were different grooves 
and time feelings within a tempo. 

GM: The next thing is to try and find out 
how to do that. It's something I've discov¬ 
ered how to do by approaching the instru¬ 
ment physically. I don't try to think ahead 
of the beat, or in the middle of the beat. I 
just think straight time and play with a dif¬ 
ferent motion in my arm to change the time 

CB: What are common mistakes that bass¬ 
ists and drummers make? 

GM: One of the most common mistakes 
that Mel and I have observed is that drum¬ 
mers don't know how to keep the time an¬ 
chored and still "lift" it. The time will tend 
to sound heavy. 

Something that Mel hears bassists do 
very often is that their bass lines won't be 
particularly interesting melodically. Also 
they'll sort of play note to note. And when 
they go note to note, each one will vary in 
ways that won't make any sense. 

MG: Not only that, but each note will vary 
in sound and timbre. A good bass line 
should have an even sound. It should have 
melodic shape. A bass line goes over an 
arc. It shouldn't be note to note, but be a 
phrase or a composition in itself. 

GM: So if a bass player doesn't have a feel¬ 
ing of being able to play a line where the 
notes are connected, and have an "arc" 
feeling, very often the time will have a lead 
weight feeling to it. 

MG: Static. 

GM: Static, and even worse than that. It'll 
sound like it's going backwards. 

CB: Mel, are there any other problems that 
you see as a bass player that drummers 
seem to manifest? 

MG: Drummers sometimes don't think 
about the sound of the drums. 

CB: Do you mean the way they tune the 

MG: Yeah. Also the way they use dy¬ 
namics and their equipment. I sometimes 
see drummers come to a trio gig with a big 
band set; huge drums for a small group. 
They'll be playing and wonder why they 
can't match up their sound with the rest of 
the group. Even if the drummer is tuned 
into the time, if the sound of the drums 
isn't correct, then he's not blending into 
the situation, and that bothers me. Also if 

he doesn't phrase, or use dynamics in a 
way that matches the band melodically, 
and plays note to note, it makes for bad 
music. Good jazz, no matter if it's "free" 
or bebop, sounds better if it's phrased over 
long periods of time. It's really much more 
interesting and a lot of things can happen 

CB: Are there any methods or techniques 
that either of you can suggest to correct 
these deficiencies in bassists and drum¬ 

GM: If a drummer has time problems, he 
should check how he holds the sticks and 
ask himself whether or not he's allowing 
the stick to bounce freely. Second, is he 
tightening up in his body? Is he able to 
dance on the drums? Can he move and can 
he bounce? If he can bounce, he can have 
good time. If he doesn't have good time, 
something is out of kilter physically. 

MG: What you're saying is that relaxation 
is involved with good time. 

GM: Yeah, relaxation. If a drummer's 
time is slightly off, maybe it's just a ques¬ 
tion of using the metronome and finding 
out what steady time is. He can use it as a 
guide. As far as dynamics are concerned, if 
a drummer gets a steady bounce going 
first, and is relaxed, then he can concen¬ 
trate on using dynamics. You don't start 
on dynamics. Relaxation comes first, 
that's number one. 

CB: Are there any problems or differences 
for a rhythm section playing in an acoustic 
band as opposed to an electric group? 

MG: In most of the music I play, I have an 
amplifier. Over the last ten years I've gone 
from large amplifiers and a lot of equip¬ 
ment, to a small amplifier that is amplified 
by the house. You don't need columns of 
speakers. All you need is enough sound to 
hear yourself on stage. 

GM: What Mel and I consider our top dy¬ 
namic level would be the normal level of a 
rock band. 

MG: And we go from that level to nothing; 
the sound of silence. 

GM: I find that most electronic loudness is 
anti-musical. It tends to destroy the play¬ 
er's ears and it goes in a backwards direc 
tion by definition. That's not an opinion. 
It's a fact that your ears can be destroyed. 
MG: The only reason you need to play 

by Charles M. Bernstein 

loud is if you're playing huge auditoriums, 
and we don't play in places like that. We 
enjoy playing in places where people can 
hear our softest sound. 

GM: When playing acoustic music, your 
ears regain their resiliency. When the mu¬ 
sic is too loud, your hearing looses its sen¬ 

MG: Ten years ago, when I'd come home 
from a gig, my ears were throbbing. I 
thought my hearing was going. We were in 
the late '60s and early 70s, playing in rock 
and fusion groups. I don't think either of 
us could take it. The loudness affected our 
nervous systems. It just wasn't our kind of 

GM: Let me make one important point: I 
believe it's possible for listeners to go and 
hear music and to leave that concert with 
their ears and head feeling better. Or, they 
can go to a concert and get totally wiped 
out by the volume level. I don't know why 
so many people choose to get wiped out, 
but there must be a reason for it. 

CB: Quite often the biggest problem a 
drummer has in electric bands occurs when 
he's not miked. Then he's forced to kill 
himself physically just to be heard. When 
the drummer can't be heard, his time, 
sometimes, gets stolen from him. 

GM: It's true. Your time can get taken 
away from you. It's less of a problem for a 
drummer when he gets stronger, chop- 

eatilHiuwi un wt i pup? 

MAY ;9S3 


At Berklee,we teach 
you how to make music. 

And how to make it in 
the music business. 

Gary Burton 
Berklee Alumnus 

Berklee is where musical talent meets 
musical knowledge. The knowledge you 
need to make it in the music business today. 

Every day at Berklee, each student moves 
one step closer to a professional career. 
Whether your interests lie in producing 
recorded music, compos¬ 
ing music for television or 
films, or playing as a 
jazz, pop, rock, theatre or studio mu¬ 
sician, Berklee gives you the competi¬ 
tive edge. 

Berklee students and faculty are 
dedicated musicians. Each newcomer 
is caught up in the energy and enthusi¬ 
asm that permeates the classroom, the 
practice room, and the concert stage. 

Here you’ll learn music through hands- 
on experience. You can experiment with 
the latest recording techniques in our studios. Break new 
ground in electronic music. Or, write for your own ensem¬ 
ble. In addition, students and teachers present over 500 
concerts each year. 

Berklee will help you meet the challenges 
of professional music, today and tomorrow. 

If you’re ready to start your own career, 
contact the Berklee Admissions Office for 
our current College Catalog. Call toll- 
free: 1-800-633-3311 (9 a.m. to 5 p.m. 
EST). In Massachusetts call: 617-266-1400. 
Or, write: BERKLEE, Admissions 
Office, Dept. E, 1140 Boylston Street, 

Boston, MA 02215. 

Quincy Jones 
Berklee Alumnus 

Ai DiMcola 
Berklee Alumnus 


College of Music 

Where careers in music begin. 

BERKLEE SUMMER ’83 —This summer Berklee will he offering intens ive stud)/ 
programs for student and professional musicians. Classes begin on June 2nd or June 30th. 
Contact the Admissions Office for mm information 

Workshop continued from page 81 

MG: As a drummer, you lose subtle move¬ 
ments. And when you get into that situa¬ 
tion on bass, it just isn't the kind of thing I 
like to do. I don't play out all the way. In 
larger groups I sometimes have to play out 
all the time to be heard above the accompa¬ 
niment. That kind of thing bothers me; the 
fact that I can't go down and play in the 
spider webs and then come up to go all 
these different places on the instrument. 
That's the type of situation I'm really in¬ 
terested in, and that's what's so beautiful 

Platform continuedfrompage 4 

On Sunday, January 16, 1983 my friend, 
Gary Evans Leyton, passed away. For over 
23 years he was a professional photogra¬ 
pher. It was his life—his passion. He cov¬ 
ered and excelled at every facet of photog¬ 
raphy. As a high fashion photographer, 
many of his photographs appeared in 
Vogue, Harpers Bazaar, Seventeen, and 
many other national publications. During 
the late sixties he was a cameraman for 
KQED television in San Francisco. If it in¬ 
volved a camera, he did it very well. 

Gary was a master at using complex 
photographic techniques, and turning 
them into warm, personal statements. Re¬ 
cently, he had become involved with Mod¬ 
ern Drummer as a contributing photogra¬ 
pher. He told me many times how happy 
he was about working for the magazine. 
He loved taking pictures of musicians. It 
was a new found pleasure for him. 

Gary cared a great deal about his friends 
and he dearly loved his wife Kathleen, and 
his three children, Alexandria, Leah, and 
Nicholas. He was a good human being. I 
shall miss him very much. 

Charles M. Bernstein 
San Francisco, CA 


I'm writing to let you and your readers 
know that after two-and-a-half years with 
Count Basie, I've taken a leave of absence 
to accept an appointment to head Drumset 
Instruction at the University of Southern 
California. My friends can still write to me 
c/o Count Basie, 660 Madison Ave., 
N.Y.C., or at U.S.C. 

Gregg Field 
W. Hollywood, CA 


Special thanks to Rick Van Horn for "Es¬ 
tablishing Tempo." I've been contemplat¬ 
ing purchasing a metronome for my pri¬ 
vate studies, and now I also see the value of 
using it with the band. I check out the 
bands in my area, and the ones that stand 
out from the pack have good tempos; can 
feel the audience's adrenalin level and act 

Kenneth Montville 
Cincinnati, OH 


MAY 1983 

about the fact that we've culminated into a 

CB: You 've both played together for over 
12 years. What other special insights has 
this long relationship given you? 

GM: Our relationship continues because I 
find there's always something to work on. 
The more we work together, the more I dis¬ 
cover what to work on. I never completely 
hear the way I want to hear. I'm always 
working to open that up and to keep that 

Thanks for "Drums & Education" (MD, 
Feb., 1983). Special thanks to Mel Lewis 
for his observation that many fine teachers 
are brought in to universities as guests, but 
not hired as full-time faculty. 

It's ironic that a university will bring in 
an artist/clinician for a few days at a size¬ 
able fee, but will not hire a full-time, ten¬ 
ured drumset artist/teacher because of de¬ 
gree requirements. Non-degreed classical 
artists have been given full-time positions 
for years. Why not a drumset artist? If one 
is hired it is usually as part-time faculty. 
That means no benefits such as hospitaliza¬ 
tion, retirement pension, etc. 

This is, indeed, ludicrous when one real¬ 
izes that the majority of drummers who at¬ 
tend an institution which offers a jazz/im¬ 
provisation curriculum are there to study 

Ed Soph 
North Haven, CT 


I recently purchased a set of Studio Snares, 
as advertised in MD, and felt compelled to 
warn the MD readers about this product. 
The snare wires are muffled with a piece of 
foam padding. Although this does practi¬ 
cally eliminate any sympathetic vibrations, 
all tone and warmth are lost and the drum 
sounds like cardboard. For $20.00 this is 
quite a disappointment. 

Aaron Brown 
Wichita, KS 

Editor's Note: We spoke with Neil Jacob¬ 
sen who manufactures Studio Snares. He 
said, "We send a release to everyone who 
inquires about our product before they 
buy it. It says that Studio Replacement 
Snares are for recording purposes and mic’ 
uses. People have called me and asked 
about using them live and I say don't use it. 
It does choke out the snare drum. It's real 
good when you place a mic' right near the 
snares on the bottom. It picks up a nice 
pop and gets rid of a portion of the toms. If 
this reader bought it for use at home, I 
would definitely agree that it does sound 
choked. If someone is unhappy with the 
product, then we 're more than happy to 
give a refund. We don't want anyone un¬ 
satisfied with the snares. " 

MG: We're both students of music as well 
as teachers of music. We're constantly try¬ 
ing to learn and grow. The minute you ac¬ 
cept the things you do and get off on it, you 
just stagnate. But when you grow and 
leave yourself open to things, that's the 
magic of music making. I'm sure that's 
why we're still in music. It certainly isn't 
for economic reasons. There's a spectrum 
of spiritual things that you just don't get 
from drugs, meditation, or anything. Mu¬ 
sic is its own special experience. |^i 


You must have read my mind. I've been 
waiting for an extended article on Jeff Por- 
caro for a while now. My thanks to Robyn 
Flans for a well-written piece which gave a 
lot of insight into Jeff Porcaro the person 
as well as the drummer. My thanks to Jeff 
for the inside scoop on how he came up 
with the drum part for "Rosanna." No 
matter how many times I hear it, it's still a 

Frank Neigel 

Flushing, NY 


Thanks Rick Mattingly! Your profile on 
Clem Burke was superb. I've had the 
pleasure of meeting Clem and seeing him 
perform in three bands. He's obviously a 
man who loves his work, and that's what 
separates him from the rest. 

Tony Fornaro 
Fresno, CA 


This is in reference to a question in "Ask A 
Pro," May '82. The reader asked Neil 
Peart what he used as a tom-tom mount on 
his left bass drum. Neil's answer was "an 
old Rogers Swiv-O-Matic tom mount" 
which was not "solid" by today's stand¬ 
ards. I had the same problem. I owned a 
Ludwig triple tom-tom mount. I put my 
tom-tom on the middle mount. This en¬ 
abled me to bring the bass drums close to¬ 
gether without the toms hitting each other. 
Voila! The problem is solved. I hope this 
information is handy to the double bass 
players who can't get their set "together." 
Please say hello to Neil. 

Steven R. Hasen 
Syracuse, N.Y. 

Editor's Note: Hello Neil. 


Thank you for the recent profiles of San¬ 
tana's percussionists and Sheila Escovedo. 
Please continue the coverage of today's 
outstanding conga players. There are 
many of us in the Boston area who share a 
passion for this instrument. I'd love to see 
an indepth "Master Series" profiling such 
giants as Mongo, Patato, Candido, Bar- 
retto and Airto. 

Glen Calmus pap 
Auburndale, MA * 

“If you decide to 
play for 738 hours 
continuously, I hope 
you have your head 
together. I did, 
thanks to Duraline.” 

Boo Boo McAfee 

11300 Hush St.. So, El Monte, CA 91713:! 

“SuperHeads allow 
me to get that full 
‘tuned down’ sound 
without losing sep¬ 
aration or increasing 
snare buzz.” 

Barry Keane 

Gordon Lightfoot 

Harm Rush St., So. El Monte, CA 91733 

MAY 1983 


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Carrington continued from page 21 
It's not as professional to send a tape to 
somebody. We recorded it at Jimmy Madi¬ 
son's studio. Through our corporation, 
Carrington Enterprises, we pressed 500 
copies and they're all gone. A lot of people 
want the record now. 

SF: Are you going to press more copies? 
TLC:I don't know. We're waiting hope¬ 
fully for a company to pick it up before 
that. We're not really selling them—we're 
giving most of them away. It costs a lot to 
press them. It was a good experience. 

SF: How long did it take to record? 
TLC:Three hours. No rehearsal. We went 
in cold, rehearsed the tunes and played 
them. It was three hours including re¬ 
hearsal and playing. We didn't even really 
rehearse it. First we'd just play a dry run. 
Each tune we played twice and a few tunes 
we only played once. 

SF: Who picked the tunes? 


SF: Were there charts written out? 

TLC: No. Whatever little arranging there 
was to be done I'd do verbally. The tunes 
were, "What Is This Thing Called Love," 
"Seven Steps To Heaven," "La Bo¬ 
nita"—which is my tune—"Sunny Moon 
For Two," "St. Thomas" and "Just The 
Way You Are." In a way, I wish I could do 
it again to make it better. 

SF: Have you recorded with any other 

TLC: No. I'd like to do some recording, 
but I have to get the calls! But, things are 
going along pretty fast. I like the pace it's 
going at. A lot of people are so big at such a 
young age that when they get to be 30 or 40 
it's like they have no place to go. 

SF: Do you keep thinking of new things to 

TLC: For a long-term goal I'd like to be a 

SF: Who taught you goal setting? 

TLC: I don't think anybody has to teach 
you goal setting. Anybody who's in this 
business, if they don't set goals, they might 
as well get out. You have to set goals or 
you'll stay on a plateau. You work towards 
something. I think goals are important to 
keep a person going. They make you bet¬ 

I think the greatest musicians, the guys 
who are in their 60's today, when they were 
20 they weren't sounding the way they are 
today. They had to improve all those 
years. Years of experience and hard work. 
They had to improve. I think that's impor¬ 
tant too. 

SF: What's your general practice routine? 
TLC: When I started practicing, nobody 
pushed me. I mostly wanted to play with 
the records. That's what I really liked to 
do. When I started taking formal lessons I 
practiced whatever the lesson was for 45 
minutes or an hour. 

SF: You never did eight hours a day? 

TLC:I never have. I don't think I could to 


MAY 1983 

this day. Maybe when I go to Berklee my 
mind will change, but I don't think I could 
do anything for eight hours. I would get 
too bored doing one thing that long. Now, 
I could maybe play with a group for that 
period of time. But doing something like 
that for eight hours in a room by myself—I 
don't have that kind of attention span. For 
two or three hours? Yes. But, eight hours? 
No. I know a lot of people who do that. If 
somebody practices for eight hours a day, 
they should be a monster. If they're not 
and they have to practice that long, that 
ought to tell them that it's not natural. 

SF: Do you think there's such a thing as a 
"natural" drummer? 

TLC: Yes! I think it has to be pretty natu¬ 
ral for any musician. It has to be there. 
People can work at it, and play at instru¬ 
ments for years. I know plenty of people 
who practice and practice two or three 
times as much as me and they don't even 
improve from year to year. I don't under¬ 
stand it. The only thing that tells me is that 
it can't be natural. And there are so many 
naturally talented people who don't know 
they're talented who don't practice at all. 
It goes both ways. 

SF: I wonder if people reading about you 
think that you must always be locked away 
woodshedding somewhere. 

TLC:That's not true at all. I know people 
who think I need to lock myself away a lit¬ 
tle more than I do! 

SF: Who are some of the drummers you 
love to listen to? 

TLC:I don't have any favorite drummers. 
I'm probably the only person in the world 
who doesn't. I don't see how people can 
pick one favorite drummer. I admire eve¬ 
rybody. Everybody who's on records— 
they had to do something to get there, 
right? They have something to offer. So 
many drummers have so much to offer. I 
love Elvin Jones, Art Blakey, Max Roach, 
Roy Haynes, Philly Joe Jones, Papa Jo 
Jones, Buddy Rich—there are just so 
many. I love people who aren't so well 
known, like Ben Riley, Billy Hart, Louis 
Hayes, Billy Higgins. As good as those 
musicians are—how can you pick a favor¬ 
ite? I can't do it. There are so many tal¬ 
ented people and they each have something 
different to offer. I try to take a page from 
everybody's book. 

SF: Do you have a record collection at 

TLC: Not a personal record collection, but 
my father does. He has at least 2000 re¬ 
cords. My father has everything from 
Elvin Jones, Jazz At The Philharmonic in 
the '40s to today's pop rock. He has con¬ 
temporary music, but he doesn't get into 
rock at all. I don't either, really. I listen to 
it on the radio. I'm talking about hard 
rock. I can appreciate it. I can appreciate 
what everybody does, but he doesn't buy 
those records. My father has such a tre- 

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mendous record collection that I don't 
need to buy any. When I move out, then 
maybe I'll have to start thinking about 

SF: One of the greatest advantages you 
have is the knowledge of the whole span of 

TLC: Well, his records are like a library. 
He's got so many records that I still have 
never heard. 

SF: Were there any favorite albums that 
you liked to listen to? 

TLC:I remember my little portable record 
player—a little kid's record player—and I 
would play—over and over again—the 
Fifth Dimension's "Aquarius." 

SF: Would you join a rock band? 

TLC: I think I'd do a gig or two here and 
there. But, I would never go on the road 
for months with them. 

SF: You mean if you had the opportunity 
to join Earth, Wind & Fire you wouldn't 
do it? 

TLC: Not for any long period of time. I 
love the music. I love to listen to it and I 
love to dance to it. I love to sing with it. 
But, playing it is a different story. Earth, 
Wind & Fire is probably my favorite funk 
group, but the drums for those kind of 
songs is so simple. You run into the same 
beat over and over. A drummer has to keep 
time for them strictly. How many times 
does a drummer get a solo? I like bebop. 
SF: I often get letters from readers your 
age asking the question: "How am I going 
to make a living as a drummer?" Does that 
question ever enter your mind? 

TLC: I hope I establish myself—between 
now and the time that I have to pay bills— 
while I'm in college, so that I'll be able to 
work. That's what I plan on doing. 

SF: Do you read books or do anything to 
keep yourself motivated and thinking posi¬ 

TLC:No. I don't think it's that much out 
of the ordinary. I think most people try to 
think positive and have aspirations. 

SF: You have the rare combination of be¬ 
ing able to back that up with action—going 
out and doing it. There are few people who 
are willing to put the action behind the 

TLC:That's true. Remember when I was 
telling you about my teachers Keith and 
Alan? I'd like to add Lenny Nelson. He's 
really a talented person and a really tal¬ 
ented drummer. There are not a lot of peo¬ 
ple who can even play some of the stuff he 
plays. He came over and gave me a few les¬ 
sons too. One other thing about influences: 
I think there was a stage when I would lis¬ 
ten to people for a few months, then put 
them away and listen to somebody else. I 
listened to Elvin Jones and Art Blakey. 
Those two people were the ones I listened 
to most. 

SF: What did you like about Elvin? 
TLC:Elvin's whole total concept. Nobody 
else plays like that. It was the hipness. Es¬ 

pecially when I was younger and trying to 
get hipper; trying to get away from playing 
ding-ding-da-ding. I had to listen to Elvin 
to open my ears up. It worked! I never 
tried to play like him. What happens is, I'll 
listen to somebody, and then subcon¬ 
sciously I'll start doing little things and 
adapting their feel. That happens a lot 
when I sit in. I'd sit in with a lot of people, 
and a lot of times—I don't know why—I'd 
start playing with the same feel as their 
drummer was playing, because I'd heard 
him all night. I'd always sit in at the end of 
the night. 

Recently I sat in with Dexter Gordon in 
Massachusetts and his drummer was Eddie 
Gladden. He had a certain style. I sat in 
with Dexter and I know that I was adapting 
Eddie's feel, which I normally don't do. 
So, when I listened to Elvin I'd sit down 
and try to adapt his feel. You can't copy 
somebody like that. 

SF: What did you like about Art Blakey? 
TLC: I associate Art Blakey with thunder. 
He's just such a thunderous drummer. I 
loved it and I still love it. His buzz roll is 
incredible. There's no other drummer now 
who can play the buzz roll like that. I don't 
care who it is. One day I'd just like to have 
the power behind my buzz roll that he has. 
He pushes the band. He's a driver. Like my 
father explained to me: Art Blakey's a 
driver like a powerful train. The train is 
moving. When Art Blakey plays it's like 
he's pushing the train. 

SF: You used to go into clubs with your 
Dad a lot? 

TLC: Yeah, and he'd analyze things for 
me when I was younger, until I got a mind 
of my own and started to get my own opin¬ 
ion. My father's very knowledgable as far 
as music. I was fortunate for him wanting 
to do it for me. So many people's parents 
don't give their kids any instruction or en¬ 
couragement. I honestly don't think I'd be 
playing today if it wasn't for my parents. 
It's like I was born to the right parents. 

SF: How do you balance your social life 
with your career? 

TLC: Well, I date occasionally. I have 
plenty of friends, plenty of male friends. 
It's not hard for me to balance the two. I 
think you have to live first. Enjoy yourself 
and enjoy life. Music is a definite part of 
your enjoyment of life, but there are other 
things too. So, you don't become narrow 
minded. Develop to a well-rounded per¬ 
son. I feel I'm pretty well-rounded. 

SF: Do you think in terms of having a fam¬ 
ily or are you still too young for that? 
TLC:I don't really think much about that. 

I feel I want to get married, but I don't 
think of kids. Did you know I got a schol¬ 
arship to Berklee? Back in 1977 or '78 Os¬ 
car Peterson was playing at the Boston 
Globe Jazz Festival. I was talking to him 
after the concert was over. I said, "Clark 
Terry told me to tell you hello. I played 
with him last night." He said, "What? 


MAY 1983 

You played with him?" I said, "I played 
drums. I played two sets because the drum¬ 
mer didn't show up on time." This was 
when I was 11 or 12 years old. Oscar says, 
"Keter Betts! Leave your bass up." He 
asked me to play one tune because he just 
wanted to hear me, I guess. It was at the 
end of the festival and people were still 
walking out. They saw Oscar come out and 
people ran back. About half the people 
were gone. Luckily, the President of 
Berklee was there. We played a blues. So, 
he offered me a four-year, full scholarship 
to Berklee when I was 11. I was taking pri¬ 
vate lessons at the time with Keith Cope¬ 

I sat in with Buddy Rich's big band three 
or four times. He was responsible for me 
getting endorsements from Zildjian. Then 
Zildjian talked to Slingerland. They were 
in the club when Buddy was playing. They 
go to support the artist. Buddy Rich asked 
me to sit in. I was scared to death! I was 
about 12. We played "Chicago." The next 
thing I knew I was getting an endorsement 
from Zildjian. A lot of people have said a 
lot of derogatory things about Buddy, but 
he's been nothing but nice to me. He's a 
hell of a guy. I love Buddy Rich. He 
brought me on the To Tell The Truth 
show. He came on and played a little three- 
minute drum solo. They had me and two 
other girls. They said, "Will the real one 
please stand up?" And Buddy Rich came 
over and stood me up. 

SF: What do you see as the drummer's role 
in a band? 

TLC: The main function is to keep time 
and also to enhance everybody else; to ac¬ 
company all the other musicians. A drum¬ 
mer is an accompanist. Of course, you 
have drummers who are leaders. Art Bla- 
key, one of the biggest drummer/lead¬ 
ers—look how well he accompanies all the 
band members. That's what makes him so 
great. That's one of the first and foremost 
things for a drummer. Accompany the 
others and know what not to play. To not 
be overbearing. Blend in and keep the 
time. Make the music swing, if that's what 
you're playing. 

SF: Do you think a person can learn how to 
swing or do you think that's another natu¬ 
ral gift? 

TLC: No. I think you have to feel it; not 
learn it. Swing is to be felt. 

SF: Have you done much work backing up 

TLC:Not for a whole gig. I've sat in with a 
bunch of different singers: Joe Williams, 
Betty Carter, Helen Humes, John Hen¬ 

SF: Have any of these great musicians 
given you "truths" that you carry with 

TLC: Well, they've all given me spot 
things. Even to this day. Things like ac¬ 
companying a bass solo. How to lay back. 
A lot of bassists have told me never to lay 

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out. Always have something going in the 
background during a bass solo. Sometimes 
the drummer will lay out totally and let the 
bass just go. Buster Williams said, "Don't 
do that. Always keep something to go by." 
I've gotten a lot of advice but nothing 
that's dwelt in my mind. I remember once 
when I was playing with Clark Terry when 
I was 11. He said, "Okay, we're going to 
play a shuffle." I said, "What's a shuf¬ 
fle?" He explained it to me and I played it. 
I knew what it was, I just didn't know the 

SF: Have you ever messed up on stage? 
TLC: Plenty of times. Once I sat in with 
Dizzy Gillespie and played "Scrapple 
From The Apple." I didn't know the song! 
I was about 11 or 12. He does a certain 
thing with the beginning where the bass 
player plays the melody. When the bass 
was playing, it sounded like funk to me. I 
was confused. So when the melody time 
came I started playing a funk beat. Then I 
realized, "I think this is supposed to 
swing." After that I was alright. 

SF: Did that incident get you down? 
TLC:Yeah! I was so upset. 

SF: How did you get over it? 

TLC: By another good experience that 
would come later. That made up for it. Lit¬ 
tle things bother me. Within the past three 
years or so I play the form to tunes no mat¬ 
ter what I play. Unless it's a tune I don't 

know and I mess up the form. A lot of 
times I'll play the melody outright and the 
bandmembers still don't come in on time! 
And it blows my mind! It bothers me be¬ 
cause I know that I've worked hard to stick 
to the form and play musical. Why 
couldn't they follow it and come in on 

Another thing that bothers me is that a 
lot of drummers—even some of the best 
drummers—don't play form anymore. 

SF: Can you give me an example? 
TLC:Elvin Jones. 

SF: Well, we both know that Elvin has the 
ability to play the song form in a solo. 
What about a drummer's license to play a 
free-form solo? 

TLC:Oh no, it's not bad. I don't see why 
drummers would do that all the time. 
Every solo they take? No form? Why 
would do you that? It's different with the 
great drummers like Elvin. You know that 
he can do it, and they do do it sometimes. 
But, there are a lot of young drummers 
I've heard that are students, who will be 
playing a tune, then they start soloing and 
don't think the first thing about form. 
They start changing the tempo and every¬ 
thing. They'll start playing funk in the 
middle of a jazz tune. That's good for col¬ 
oring sometimes. But, not a whole fusion 
solo in the middle of "Night In Tunisia." I 
see that happen all the time. It just bothers 


SF: Maybe that's because many drummers 
have an overbalance of rhythmical train¬ 
ing and not enough melodic training. 

TLC: Alan Dawson never takes a solo free 
form. He's such a fantastic guy and I think 
he's so underrated. A lot of people just 
don't know him. I'd suggest young drum¬ 
mers learn music and form. It takes away 
from the music and the song if you go out 
on a whole other plane. It bothers me if 
somebody can't play within the realm of 
the song. I guess that's been drilled into my 
mind from Alan. But, the great musical 
drummers who don't do it—that's differ¬ 
ent. They've already proven themselves. 
They don't have to prove anything. Young 
people don't feel like playing form because 
they want to make it a big drum show. A 
drummer said to me once, "You know 
what I'd just love to do? I want to study 
with Louis Bellson or Buddy Rich because 
I want to learn how to just take a mon¬ 
strous drum solo!" And that's all he cared 
about. I said, "Well, what about the other 
things that are important?" He said, 
"Well, if I can do that, then I'm not even 
worried about the other things." I didn't 
even waste any more time talking to him. I 
know a lot of drummers who feel that way. 
SF: Are there any people you'd like to meet 
that you haven't met yet? 

TLC: On the jazz side I've met them all. 


MAY 1983 

I'd like to meet some "stars." Natalie 
Cole. Diana Ross. 

SF: What would you want to ask them 

TLC:I'd ask them the secrets to their suc¬ 
cess, other than the talent. 

SF: Have you done that with drummers? 
TLC: No, I've been more of a listener and 
taking whatever they say. I don't like to get 
too personal. 

SF: Do you see yourself someday doing the 
same kind of thing as Natalie Cole and Di¬ 
ana Ross? 

TLC: Yeah, I actually do. I don't know 
why. I plan on taking some voice lessons. 
See, what I want to do is enjoy myself for 
the next 10 or 20 years, and play this kind 
of music that I really love. But, if some¬ 
body offers me a lot of money to sing—I 
don't know if I could refuse it. I just want 
to be in entertainment. I'd never give up 
the drums. I wouldn't end up playing 
funk. I could think of a mixture with some 
jazz, just to satisfy my own needs. If I 
played commercial music I'd have to mix a 
little swing in there. Herbie Hancock does 
it. He plays commercial and he plays swing 

SF: Do you find a conflict between playing 
commercial music and jazz? 

TLC: Yes, I do. But I haven't quite figured 
out how to deal with it. You can't record 
both. Record companies want you to play 
either all funk or all jazz, I think. 

SF: Do you find an attitude of bitterness 
among some jazz players often times? 

TLC: Yeah. A lot of them are very bitter 
and rightfully so. They haven't gotten rec¬ 
ognition that they deserve. There are other 
people who aren't as talented as they are 
that have gotten that well-deserved recog¬ 
nition. And the money that the jazz musi¬ 
cians don't make—everybody else makes 
in music. Rock. Funk. I mean, I love that 
music too, but why can't jazz be up there 
with it? It's two totally different markets. 
SF: I've noticed two things that I feel are 
holding jazz musicians back financially, 
especially the younger players. One is that 
most jazz musicians have an attitude that 
"jazz isn't for everybody." I think they get 
hung by the tongue. I've also noticed that 
jazz musicians aren't as willing, generally, 
to stay together as a band to create a tight 
sound as the rock musicians are. If you'll 
remember, all the greatest jazz bands have 
been together for extended periods of 

TLC: That's true too. I still don't think 
that they'd get as much recognition as the 
rock groups. No way. That wouldn't really 
change the state of where jazz is on the 
market. It would help some. Yes, you're 
right about that. But, I think it's maybe the 
intelligence of the average American per¬ 
son. Jazz is a harder music to understand. 
A lot of people don't even have an appreci¬ 
ation of it. But, people could. I think jazz 
could be for anybody, but they don't get 
the opportunity to hear it. Turn on the ra¬ 
dio. Everything you hear is rock, funk, fu¬ 
sion or whatever. Look at T.V. It's the 

same thing. Go to school. It's the same 
thing. If young children got an opportu¬ 
nity to be exposed to jazz, I think it would 
make all the difference in the world. I play 
for young kids, and some of them have 
never heard jazz . They're amazed. They 
love it. I mean, little kids. I think that's the 
only thing that would change the state of 
where jazz is monetarily. You can't start 
them hearing it when they're 15 or 16 be¬ 
cause they're already in a different direc¬ 

SF: Remember in the '30s—the Big Band 
Era—jazz was the popular music? 

TLC: Yeah. Even in the '50s popular mu¬ 
sic was closer to jazz—the older rhythm & 
blues stuff. People go with the trend. Peo¬ 
ple go with what they've heard. You can be 
brainwashed easily, and that's all they 
are—brainwashed. / get brainwashed 
from listening to rock and funk stations on 
the radio. Songs that I never liked I start 
singing and liking. It happens and it burns 
me up. If they only did that with jazz. 

SF: Have any of the older musicians like 
Max Roach or Roy Haynes ever spoken 
with you about that aspect of the business? 
TLC: A little bit here and there. I don't 
think negative. All I think about is stand¬ 
ing up there next to all those people who I 
admire so much. I never think about get¬ 
ting in a rut. What I want to do is establish 
myself someday like some of the new 
younger musicians, like Wynton Marsalis. 
I just want to stand next to them one day, 
hopefully not too far in the future. |^fj 

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Vfutmm&i4 iVottd. NC 

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Phone <212)-840-3057 

MAY 1983 


Transcribed by David Wood 

Snare Small Tom Floor Tom 

Dannie Richmond: 

'Three Worlds 
of Drums" 

From the album Me, Myself An Eye by Charles Mingus (Atlantic SD-8803). 

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This transcription is from For The Record, a new book of drum solos by some of the world’s greatest drummers, written by David 
Wood. (gg 

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Hotels continuedfrom page 23 

more than paying for the entertainment 
costs, and after breaking down, packing it 
all up, and shaking hands all around, 
Binky Tom and the Starlighters depart for 
their next gig in eager anticipation of re¬ 
turning here to do it all over again. 

They never hear from the place again. 

Housekeeping conferred with the front 
desk, front desk with management, and 
the fact that Binky and the boys brought 
the house down in an all-too-literal sense 
becomes painfully evident after inspection 
of the rooms. 

Lamps are broken, towels and ashtrays 
missing, upholstry torn and stained, cur¬ 
tains hang limply from the rod by one torn 
corner, drains backed up, toilets plugged, 
sinks stained and scratched, and the car¬ 
peting appears to have been utilized in tex¬ 
tile experiments for National Dye and 
Wool. The rooms have taken on an odor 
all their own—one of aged beer, tobacco, 
and discarded food, the aroma transcend¬ 
ing into the hallway and throughout the 
entire first floor. 

The result: Five rooms, which were to be 
given to the next band and all groups there¬ 
after, are closed down for extensive repair 
and cleaning. Combined with the flurry of 
reported atrocities, after-hour complaints 
and front-desk phone calls, Binky Tom 
and his pack can rest assured that they 
have effectively destroyed their credibility, 
the over-all reputation of bands in general, 
and bestowed a bitter taste of contempt 
and suspicion in the minds of the hotel 

The next band arrives. They are greeted 
with sour faces, antagonism, and an im- 
promtu list of hardline house rules and reg¬ 

The bottom-line tragedy is that from 
that day forward, no matter who is booked 
into the room—no matter how amicable 
the relationship, or trouble-free the inter¬ 
action of musician and hotel employee—a 
prejudice of astonishing heights prevails to 
all entertainers. All because a group of 
highly skilled, talented performers, who 
take pride in doing good business for the 
club and providing a good time for all 
those who come to catch their act, ne¬ 
glected to remain human after working 

Thus, the now infamous stigma of the 

Fortunately, the less-than-elite, battered 
and bronzed band remains a minority. For 
the most part, we are hardworking, consci¬ 
entious, clean, intelligent artists who take 
pride in our work and embark on the ever¬ 
lasting endeavor to uphold our social posi¬ 
tions and artistic status. 

But fifteen weeks of hassle-free, amica¬ 
ble working relationship can be effectively 
and completely obliterated by two weeks 
of stolen ashtrays, damaged bedding, af¬ 
ter-hours inconsideration, and televisions 
which find themselves thrust through the 

nearest wall or window. Or how about the 
mob of lovable, but never-the-less ques¬ 
tionable, giggling, starry-eyed "group¬ 
ies," who tramp through the lobby in their 
skin-tight blue jeans and T-shirts. 

If you have obtained a certain level of 
reputable rapport, and your band has yet 
to suffer the blows of pretentious snob¬ 
bery, your accomodations are most likely 
within the hotel in which you are working. 
Not every band is allotted the privilege of 
this kind of convenience, and this gratuity 
should be appreciated and held as a source 
of pride. 

Okay. Let's take things step by step in 
our quest for equitable treatment. 

The Confirmation Phone Call 

Hopefully, we can finish our last night, 
tear down, get some sleep, and the issue of 
routing, a crucial consideration in this day 
and age of exorbitant gasoline prices, will 
have been worked out realistically, thus al¬ 
lowing ample time to arrive at the next gig 
the following night, fresh-faced and ready 
to check in, meet the bar personnel, intro¬ 
duce ourselves to the management, and ex¬ 
perience reasonably hassle-free business 

Always remember to telephone ahead to 
the next job, sometime toward the end of 
the week at your present gig, and get on the 
line to whoever is delegated the responsi¬ 
bility of your accomodations. Get any dis¬ 
crepancies and misunderstandings out of 
the way before your arrive. This should be 
handled by you, and not left up to the 
agent, for, in many cases, the gig is set 
months in advance. It is well worth the 
long-distance expense to phone ahead and 
have everything cut and dried before de¬ 
ciding whether to embark on your journey 
after the gig, or wait until well-deserved 
shut eye. This is not foolproof, however, 
and many times, no matter how meticu¬ 
lous the game plan, hassles do arise due to 
a lack of communication or instruction 
(more on that in a minute). The confirma¬ 
tion call should alleviate most, if not all, of 
the pitfalls and obstacles of the initial 
check-in process, and also provides your 
first dosage of conscientious businessman- 
ship to the party on the other end of the 

The Check-In 

It is absolutely necessary to present 
yourselves, on first contact and impression 
to the lobby personnel of the hotel, in the 
most business-like, equitable manner pos¬ 
sible. This means clean clothing, clean hair 
and at least tolerable breath. Okay, so we 
all know that sometimes it's out of the 
question to appear anything more than 
embalmed, especially after a thirty-two 
hour jaunt across the Midwest without 
sleep and over-indulging in coffee, ciga¬ 
rettes, and junk food. But if at all possible, 
take that well-invested shower before leav¬ 
ing, wear clean clothes, and be sure your 

breath is nothing less than sweet. By clean 
clothes, we don't mean faded blue jeans 
and tank tops. We mean good, yet casual 
attire, something you might wear to a nice 
restaurant, or to a club when checking out 
the competition. Remember, you're deal¬ 
ing with administrative personnel here, 
folks who are accustomed to wearing their 
three-piece suits, or company jacket or 
uniforms. The sight of unknowns walking 
into their nice, clean lobby attired in some¬ 
thing that could very well double as auto¬ 
mobile maintenance threads, doesn't 
make it. Contrary to popular misconcep¬ 
tion, hotel/motel personnel, especially 
management and front-desk crews, have 
not developed a propensity to welcoming a 
group of unkept, woebegottens into their 
organized corporate lives. The portrait of 
the hard drivin', hard rockin' rebel boy is 
only glamorous to garage band hopefuls, 
prepubescent groupies, and Hollywood. 
Most others find nothing hip in sloppy pre¬ 

As crazy as it may sound, if you have a 
long jaunt ahead of you, and even if you 
have to depart immediately after tearing 
down and storing your equipment in a sea 
of sweat and grime, leave out a clean shirt 
and trousers from your wardrobe bag and 
before walking inside that next hotel 
lobby, pull into a rest stop, change into 
something presentable, comb that hair, 
wash that face, and if your toothbrush is 
out of reach, invest in a package of breath 

So now you have finally arrived, you can 
tell right away that the front desk is blown 
away by how beautiful and clean you all 
are, and now it's time for the next hurdle. 

Remember the blonde cherub behind the 
front desk? Do not slight her. Don't dis¬ 
miss her as just another employee who 
happened to pull late duty. Unless you've 
been there before and know the place and 
all of its employees, you don't know what 
her function, other than night auditing, 
might be. She just could be the owner's 
daughter. To offer the eloquent, "May I 
speak with someone in charge please?" at 
the first sign of misunderstanding may be 
lethal, especially in this day and age of lib¬ 
eration, and you will leave an irreparable 
scar through such negligence. 

Hopefully, depending on the hour or the 
day, the one to talk to will be available and 
you will be able to confront them one on 
one, in which case the situation can be 
dealt with neatly and peacefully. Whoever 
is available for negotiations, retain a cool 
composure and pleasant attitude. In most 
cases there won't be any hassles; the rooms 
are usually ready and waiting, and most 
hotels will provide a weekly rate or dis¬ 
count and sometimes will even throw one 
in free of charge if occupancy is down and 
another is needed. In the event of a prob¬ 
lem, keep a cool head and hopefully the 
rest of the band can be counted on to act 
accordingly without everyone shouting to 


MAY 19&3 

the confusion of yourselves, the front 
desk, and anyone within listening distance. 
Keep in mind that there remains the chance 
that the person checking you in has little or 
no idea what was said over the phone or 
negotiated within the contract, and are 
thus following instructions or company 
policy. And if you are tempted to blow up 
and vent your spleen in an effort to secure 
your terms, remember: whining, com¬ 
plaining, and shouting will only place your 
employment in jeopardy and could quite 
possibly send you down the road without 
the gig. At this stage of the game, they have 
nothing to prove to you. You have every¬ 
thing to prove to them. 

The bottom line is, they need a band, 
you need the gig, so consequently, some 
type of arrangement can be met. Grit your 
teeth, swallow your pride, and smile, 
smile, smile. The entire affair will be much 

So now you've arrived, clean and pol¬ 
ished, everyone was cordial, and any prob¬ 
lems and misunderstandings were handled 
amicably and peacefully. You have pre¬ 
sented a dynamite first impression to the 
hotel staff and have received your room 

Unfortunately, there are those who still 
adhere to the misconception that musi¬ 
cians live out of one or two suitcases and 
handbags, and can thus trot up twenty 
flights of stairs to their designated rooms. 
If you are at all like me, you may well have 
receivers, turntables, small refrigerators, 
several wardrobe bags, and mountains of 
storage boxes and briefcases, all of which 
are necessary in accordance to occupation 
and lifestyle. 

Don't make it an issue if they can't pro¬ 
vide you with a ground-floor room. Appre¬ 
ciate what is given and thank them kindly. 
You could have been put up in "budget 
branch" across the street. 

Room Cleanliness and Etiquette 

The world of the hotel staff is a small 
one. The head of housekeeping may very 
well "hobknob" with the front desk man¬ 
ager. The maintenance chief may have re¬ 
ceived lifetime employment for saving the 
life of the hotel owner in Korea. 

Your room should be kept as meticulous 
as possible. If you share a room with some¬ 
one, formulate a plan of organization so 
that things don't become mislaid, mixed 
up, or generally disheveled. Though stor¬ 
age and closet space is often times minis¬ 
cule, a neat, unobstructed floor plan can be 
reached to provide ample walking and liv¬ 
ing space for one or two. Keep clothing 
hung up in closet areas, suitcases placed 
under beds or out of the way in corners, 
and all storage boxes either stacked neatly 
against the wall on one side of the room or 
carried back out to your vehicles. Keep the 
pathway clear for yourselves and for the 
maids. Instruments and practice parapher¬ 

nalia should not be left resting atop televi¬ 
sions, tables, or leaning against the bed or 
the bathroom doors, a failing which pro¬ 
vides a sure-fire trip to the local music store 
for unexpected repairs. Whatever the 
available living space, the key here is tidi¬ 
ness and organization. Pick up your dirty 
laundry, place it in your laundry bag or 
burn it, but never leave it lying about the 
floor or thrust under a bed or dresser to be 
discovered at a much later date either by 
you or by housekeeping. Ash trays should 
be kept clean and dumped after becoming 
full, waste baskets emptied in the waste re¬ 
ceptacles outside, and not left solely up to 
the maids, for, in most cases, the band 
rooms are cleaned every other day, and by 
that time, overflow is quite possible. 

Place yourself in the housekeeper's posi¬ 
tion for a moment. Okay, so it's her job 
and she should thus be prepared for its pit- 
falls and liabilities, but c'mon, let's be a bit 
more sympathetic to her situation. She has 
probably been assigned a section or floor, 
depending on the size of the establishment, 
with several rooms to clean daily. In most 
cases, her ritual consists of a careful clean¬ 
ing and disinfecting of the bathroom, a 
change of linen and towels, disposal of 
waste, and the once-over with a damp rag 
or dustcloth. But, when entering the band 
rooms she is immediately taken back by an 
array of obstacles, some or all of which she 
doesn't understand and hasn't seen be¬ 
fore, and is thus terrified to touch. She is 
generally open-minded enough to appreci¬ 
ate the fact that the musicians are weekly 
guests and therefore allowed certain slack 
in organization and storage (as opposed to 
the one-nighter who brings in one suitcase, 
and leaves the following morning generally 
not having used the waste baskets, 
dressers, or clothing rods). However, if an 
ugly display of discarded bottles and cans, 
empty pizza cartons, smoldering smoking 
paraphernalia and the like are in evidence, 
you can rest assured of a less-than-meticu- 
lous cleaning job. Many housekeeping per¬ 
sonnel are instructed to report to the man¬ 
agement any and all unusual goings on in 
the rooms, hassles, or abusive treatment of 
property. And if your room reeks of stale 

grease and last night's cheeseburger, this 
will also be reported, along with an exag¬ 
gerated account concerning fire code viola¬ 
tions and ants. 

This is not to discourage room cooking 
by any means. In this day and age of soar¬ 
ing food prices, many of us are preparing 
our own meals in our rooms. This is a great 
way to save on cash, but can be a total ca¬ 
tastrophe if not conducted properly. 

(1) Food cans, boxes, cartons, and 
wrappings, once used, should be disposed 
of properly. Soup cans and the like should 
be rinsed out before dropped into waste 

(2) All cooking utensils and parapher¬ 
nalia should be cleaned immediately after 
use and not left to reek throughout the 
room, then placed or stored in a designated 
area, out of the way of the maids and your¬ 

(3) Invest in as many air fresheners and 
sprays as you deem necessary and place 
them strategically throughout the room. 

(4) Get yourself a good electric air 

(5) Clean and wipe out sinks, tubs, 
counters or dressers, wherever your cook¬ 
ing takes place, and don't leave any grease 
rings or smears about the walls and furni¬ 

(6) Open up those windows, and let a lit¬ 
tle air into the room, and when doing any 
type of frying, it's a good idea to place a 
folded towel under the crack in the door to 
prevent odors from escaping into the hall¬ 

(7) Do not throw anything down the toi¬ 
lets that cannot be flushed easily and com¬ 
pletely, and shy away from pouring grease 
in the sink or the toilet. After several trips 
by maintenance to your room to unclog a 
drain, your cooking privileges will be 
promptly negated. 

(8) Never leave bones or food remains of 
any kind to rot and swelter in the wastebas¬ 
kets. Place them in an empty milk carton 
and dispose of properly in the receptacles 

(9) Keep all spoilables chilled properly, 
either with a large cooler and ice, or a port- 

continued on nextpage 

MAY 1333 


able traveler's refrigerator. (I have carried 
a small Gerard for about two years, it cost 
me 90 dollars, works like a charm, and I 
have yet to hear a complaint about its ob¬ 

(10) Do not use hotel towels and wash¬ 
cloths for your dirty dishes, for dusting 
and cleaning of instruments, or for re¬ 
moval of make up, but rather, invest in 
some cheap disposable paper towels, or 
better yet, your own set of cloth dish tow¬ 
els and rags. Many hotels have begun 
charging bands for damage or thievery of 
these things, so if you're guilty, knock it 

(11) The air should not hint of anything 
but local atmosphere and housekeeper's 
disinfectant. As a test, walk outside your 
room, close the door, wait a moment as 
you breathe the air, then re-enter. If you 
can sense even a minor odor of food or gar¬ 
bage, then do something about it, either 
with an opened window or a spray air 

This may all sound trivial or "nit- 
picky" to some, but we're dealing with 
common sense tactics here. Again, I am as¬ 
suming that those reading this article are 
not the million dollar boys. Therefore, un¬ 
less you can have accountants pay for your 
good time and destruction without making 
a dent in your bank account, it's best to 
play it safe. 

I have known of cases, one in particular, 
where pork chop bones found themselves 
thrust into the toilet, causing back-up, wa¬ 
ter damage, and general havoc, and the 
guilty band was forced to a return gig just 
to pay for their damage. After two week's 
work, they left town with three hundred 
dollars between them. Or in another case, 
the band decided to do a little fishing, were 
picked up and brought in by the local game 
warden for not having a license, had to be 
bailed out by the hotel Assistant Manager 
(who wouldn't have bothered, but needed 
them on stage that night), then proceeded 
to clean their catch in the bathtub, leaving 
the remains for the maids the following 

My point is, if you have any doubts or 
reservations on the legitimacy of some of 
the above horrors, these things do happen, 
and all contribute to our less-than-spar- 
kling reputation with the masses. 

So yes, your room is your home for the 
duration of the gig, your solace from the 
pressures and intrusions of the world, but 
it is not your property and should thus be 
treated with common-sense care and re¬ 
spect. Don't be foolish enough to think 
that if you do a slam bang job in the club 
every night, you can neglect common cour¬ 
tesy and cleanliness, talk down to the staff 
and make general havoc of the room. It all 
comes out in the wash and you are the 
losers. Do nothing to or within the room 
that you wouldn't do in your own home, 
and if you happen to be a notorious slob or 

irresponsible maniac even in your own 
home, do us all a favor and get off the road 
because you're making it tough for the rest 
of us. 

Which brings us to the most notorious 
of our supposed failings: The "after-hours 

Let's admit that we have to be on and 
able to produce excitement, vitality, or vi¬ 
olence, depending on your respective facet 
of entertainment, after which time we have 
to "comedown" from it all and eventually 
sleep. In fifteen years of professional 
work, I have yet to meet the musician who 
can fall asleep an hour after the show. 

This winding down process may take 
several hours, so why not, then, utilize this 
free space in enjoyment of a party? Ter¬ 
rific. But let's keep in mind that this is a 
business we're in, not one perpetual good 
time. For reasons of professional etiquette 
and reputation, it's wise to keep your par¬ 
tying down to once or twice a week, for if it 
becomes a nightly affair, your perform¬ 
ance and professional rapport will suffer 
and inevitably contribute to your physical 
and mental mileage. 

During the after-hours funtime, keep a 
few things in mind. One is, you are not the 
only guests on the floor. Keep the music, 
laughter, and the romance tuned to a toler¬ 
able level or you will be greeted by a grim¬ 
faced general manager the morning after. 

On the questions of friends, sometimes 
referred to as "groupies," use discretion 
and avoid the loudmouth with a propen¬ 
sity for over indulgence. If you are to see 
them after the gig, figure on a secluded 
area of the parking lot (keeping in mind 
also that their automobiles should not 
screech to a stop on the grounds in the late 
night or early morning hours) and instill 
upon them the virtues of silence until they 
reach the sanctity of your room. No hotel 
looks kindly on giggling, yelling, painted 
"star babies" parading through the hotel 
in their less-than-acceptable attire. This 
sounds funny, but remember, these types 
of occurrences do happen and literally turn 
off the management and guests. 

All in all, it is almost a necessity to un¬ 
wind and a party is a great way, but again 
those who indulge in such things con¬ 
stantly, on and off the stage, are rarely 
taken seriously by the management and are 
usually the last on the list for return gigs. 
The above tips can be applied also to the 
situation where your rooms are located in 
an area other than the hotel or establish¬ 
ment where you are working. Any other 
problems that may arise in that type of sit¬ 
uation are usually self explanatory and re¬ 
solved through common sense (often times 
any doubts and/or mysteries are immedi¬ 
ately explained by the strategically posi¬ 
tioned notes and reminders taped by the 
management on the walls throughout the 
room). As an added bit of etiquette, re¬ 
member to give your room the once over 

before checking out and hitting the road. 
Leave it as clean as when you arrived. 
Place ashtrays in one area, towels stacked 
neatly in the bathroom, and time allotting, 
empty the garbage baskets. This will be ap¬ 
preciated by the housekeeping staff and 
also cut the waiting time down for the next 
band who has to occupy these facilities. 

Daytime Hours 

Unless you suffer from insomnia, you 
probably don't want to be disturbed in the 
morning by a knock on the door or a phone 
call from the maids. 

This problem is quite easily rectified in 
one of two ways. One is to have a talk with 
housekeeping and inform them, nicely, 
that you are up late and thus must sleep in 
the morning. If that doesn't do the job, 
take the obvious, and my personal favorite 
remedy: remove the receiver from the tele¬ 
phone cradle. 

Once you have decided to start your day, 
and depending on what you plan to do or 
where you plan to go, dress accordingly. 
The wardrobe question is still an impor¬ 
tant consideration even after you've set¬ 
tled in and had your first night's perform¬ 
ance, especially if you plan on dining in the 
hotel restaurant. 

Show that you belong to the world of 
common decency and cleanliness and 
don't parade around the lobby, hallways, 
or dining facilities dressed like a sleepy 
hobo. One can recall the instance of catch¬ 
ing the discerning glimpses and visual at¬ 
tacks of the hotel staff, eventual on-the- 
spot interrogation by an uninformed yet 
concerned employee, and inevitable public 
embarrassment. Use consistent courtesy 
when dealing with the front desk, whether 
you are picking up your mail, cashing a 
check (which I'll bring up later), or shoot¬ 
ing the breeze. Don't be impatient with 
them if there is a mix-up in the mail slots or 
message lights. Smile, bide your time, and 
walk away in the smug knowledge that you 
wouldn't make that same silly mistake. 

When eating in the hotel dining room, 
be polite to the waitress, and if service war¬ 
rants, leave a generous tip. Again the ho¬ 
tel/motel world is a small one and abuse of 
the waitress staff travels far over employee 
coffee breaks. That is not to say that one 
must retain perfect manners and etiquette 
when you have an incompetent witch on 
your hands, but usually this isn't the case. 
The girls (or guys) generally try hard to 
please, for they need those tips in supple¬ 
ment of their less-than-healthy wages, and 
thus will do their best to serve, especially if 
they know you are a built-in customer for 
two weeks. Play it by ear, leave a tip, smile, 
and you can bet on astonishingly prompt 
and reliable service whenever you walk in 
the place. 

The next, and final issue, alongside 
room cleanliness and organization, is un¬ 
doubtedly the most damaging in regards to 


MAY 19B;± 

Bod Bod McAfee, who has backed many top Nashville stars, has 
now combined his talents with three top jazz musicians in the ere- 
at ton of McAfee’s Breeze, an album of intensified jazz. 

As you listen to this album, you will feel the creativity, power and in¬ 
tensity that drove McAfee as he shattered the Guinness World Rec¬ 
ord for continuous drumming. Listening to McAfee play is tike a 
lesson in the finest drumming techniques. This album should be^ 
come a part of any serious drummer's collection. 

reputation, responsibility, and business- 

The Checking Account 

Concerning the question of check cash¬ 
ing, personal or otherwise, I have found 
more than once that there is a one- or two- 
check limit per duration of the gig in the 
amount of around twenty-five to fifty dol¬ 

Many musicians don't even bother with 
checking accounts, but prefer to conduct 
their dealings on a strict cash basis. This is 
fine and probably works like a charm pro¬ 
viding you earn enough and have an abun¬ 
dance of cash on hand, combined with a 
major credit card, but ultimately hinders 
your ability to establish any kind of future 

If you are one who enjoys the benefits of 
checking, be sure to keep meticulous re¬ 
cords, and follow the traditional, com¬ 
mon-sense guidelines condusive to the 
privelege. Unfortunately, many of our fel¬ 
low road-hopping brothers and sisters 
have skipped town owing a bundle and/or 
offering a check that bounces. Those of us 
who have learned through pain and experi¬ 
ence to apply common-sense tactics are the 
ones who suffer the consequences. Once 
the damage has been done, it is a rare occa¬ 
sion indeed that an exception will be made. 
It is usually only after months, or even 
years, of continued working relationships 
and return gigs, baring even the slightest 
indescrepancy, that your character can be 

viewed in trust. Recall the good old days 
when you could charge meals and drinks to 
your room and pay at the end of the stay, 
only to now experience the indignity and 
embarrassment of the "no credit policy." 
This has resulted from hotels and clubs be¬ 
ing burned for outstanding debts one-too- 
many times and thus totally alleviates the 
privelege for everyone. 

If you have a problem keeping track of 
your spending, and have doubts about 
your ability to organize that checkbook, 
then by all means use cash. And if you have 
a genuine lack of knowledge concerning 
your tabs or spending habits, stay off the 
long-distance phone call avenue, and 
room-charge route, especially if you have 
neither the assets or intention of redeeming 
the debt. (Redundant as this last line might 
sound, it has been historically documented 
in the books of hotels and clubs through¬ 
out the land, in the case of the band who, 
realizing that the particular gig is a one- 
shot, never-to-return thing, will skip town 
with no forwarding address.) 

Money strikes a dissonant thud in the 
heart of any hard-working middle-class 
person, especially in this day and age of 
soaring inflation and rising unemploy¬ 
ment, and to be unduly burned by a debtor 
is a sure-fire statement against faith in the 
human spirit. 

There is no reason in the world why we 
cannot hold our heads up high with pride 
and receive, without fear of humiliation or 
retribution, the virtues and commodities 

alloted our fascinating occupation. 

It may have appeared throughout this 
article that I am down on musicians and 
entertainers. Nothing could be further 
from the truth! I have made music my life 
for a good many years and will defend my 
peers to the death. I have, thus, attempted 
to voice my concern for our legions and 
tried to bestow a few guidelines which may 
aid in the extinction of our less than white¬ 
washed social stature. 

So, if you or your band has recently dis¬ 
covered problems in getting booked back 
to a hotel or club, or experienced troubles 
in regards to attaining respect from any¬ 
one, whether it be housekeeping or the 
front desk, take a good gander at your 
track record and affairs of the past. If you 
find yourselves guilty of some or all of the 
above mentioned, try to rectify the prob¬ 
lems as soon as possible, and you can rest 
assured that your life on the road will be a 
lot sweeter. 

And if you find any or all of the above 
inapplicable or just downright picky or 
prudish, please do me and the thousands 
of others who take pride in our business 
and reputations a giant favor: Get off the 
road. And then out of the music business. 
You're giving us all a bad rep and making 
it darn hard to conduct affairs. Our profes¬ 
sion does not need non-professional con¬ 
duct and personalities on the road. And 
these days, we need our careers on full 



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“My SuperSticks are 
perfect every time I 
pick them up. I 
don’t have to worry 
about what happens 
to wooden sticks.” 

Hal Blaine 

11300 Rush St., So. El MnnU\ t’A 91733 

Konikoff continuedfrom page 27 

drummers, it's a very physical thing. If you 
don't have yourself together, you're not 
going to do the job as well as you could. I 
want to stress the point that it's a very 
physically demanding job. 

JD: What about the emotional strain of 

EK: Being a road musician and trying to 
maintain some kind of normalcy, some 
gravity in your life, is hard. I'm in a town 
on an average of 12 hours. The day-in-day- 
out of the "fast lane" is: flying or driving 
in, going to a sound check, back to the ho¬ 
tel to change, back to the hall, back to the 
hotel to sleep, up at five in the morning, 
drive eight hours to the next gig, and do the 
same. It's grueling emotionally. You have 
to learn to deal with being consistent on 
stage with all this strain. 

JD: How do you do it? 

EK: By giving myself a good ground. I 
have a great wife and a wonderful home. 
Nutritionally, I try to watch what I eat. I 
take vitamins. I turned into a vitamin freak 
a couple of years ago. The vitamins give 
me extra energy and take care of different 
organs of my body that don't get all the 
necessary nutrients that I'd get from three 
meals a day. Sometimes I only get one meal 
a day so I'm really jammin' these vitamins 
to keep in shape. 

JD: What about exercises? 

EK: I do a lot of sit-ups, push-ups and 
back stretches, what they call "free hand" 
exercises, where you don't use any weights 
or equipment. You only use what's avail¬ 
able in your hotel room or at the airport 
and just do the basic back stretches and leg 
bends. Hotel furniture works well for lim¬ 
bering up. You really can't take weights 
with you, or even grips, so you utilize 
whatever you can. 

JD: What about practicing while you're on 

EK: Practicing for me is about nil while 
I'm on the road, because I only get to my 
drums during sound checks and perform 
ances. As far as practicing on a pad in your 
room and on the bus or in the airport, 
that's good, because it keeps your wrists 
limber. But it can't compare to practical 
application on the set. I believe that you 
have to practice on the set to get your ideas 
and to get comfortable. 

JD:An interesting controversy is going on 
today about beginning drummers wanting 
to get paid for everything they do from the 
start, in spite of their lack of experience. 
What is your opinion on this issue? 

EK: Two weeks ago I was asked by a friend 
to do some demos for him. Now, to begin 
with, scale for a three-hour session is 
around $135.00. When my friend called 
about the demos, I didn't know what he 
was going to offer me as far as money, and 
I didn't know what the time involved 
would be. It comes down to time and dol¬ 
lars. It turned out to be about 15 hours of 
work and I did it for $50.00. So, I think 
that answers that question. I think you 

should do everything you can do to get bet¬ 
ter at something. You should even do it for 
nothing just to gain the experience. I didn't 
get great money for doing it, but I feel that 
I need much more experience in the studio 
situation. The only way I can get better is 
by doing it regularly, regardless of the pay. 
Any time I do something like that, I know I 
will learn from it, even if it's the worst stu¬ 
dio job I've ever done, working with ama¬ 
teurs or whatever. You learn in any situa¬ 
tion, so jump at the chance and go do it! 
JD: If you were in a teaching or clinic situ¬ 
ation, what would you say to young drum¬ 

EK: It's important to know that part of 
playing is working with other people. One 
reason that the band is successful is that we 
get along well. I try to understand how I 
feel and how someone else feels and then 
come to some kind of an agreement about 
how to work together. There's a lot to deal 
with on the road that you may not want to 
deal with. You have to find a way to accept 
what you can't change. We fight but we all 
love each other. I mean, I spend more time 
with the band than I do with my wife and 
family. That's painful. You have to take 
opportunities on the road to be with peo¬ 
ple, even if you're only in town a short 
time. I meet people, other drummers, and I 
try to give myself to them. I listen and I'm 
genuinely sincere about my response to 
them. It's not, 'Hey man, how ya' doin'?" 
and walk away and forget the person. I 
take an interest. I try to be helpful. I want 
to transmit the inspiration I've felt from 
other drummers to still other drummers, 
younger players. 

JD:Who did you find inspirational? 

EK: Those who play the simplest, like 
Bernard Purdie. He's amazing! I love him. 
I spent the summer on tour with the band 
in Europe and Japan. He was with Dizzy 
Gillespie. Along with us were Tony Wil¬ 
liams, Freddie Hubbard, Joe Sample and 
Ron Carter. I spent most of the time with 
Bernard. Tony stays more to himself. 
Bernard talks to anybody and that's all it 
took for me. We traded lots of informa¬ 
tion. He was an idol, you know. When you 
meet someone like that, it's strange to ac¬ 
tually get to know them. 

JD: Right. You learn to play by studying 
their licks, and suddenly you meet the 
flesh-and-blood man behind the lick. 

EK: It's important to take ideas from peo¬ 
ple, and the fact that you're taking the idea 
continues the tradition of passing it along. 
All the ideas have come from others and 
have been played before. When you play 
them, you put your personality on them, 
like a fingerprint. It's bound to sound dif¬ 
ferent. So, it's good to have idols but don't 
let their accomplishments intimidate you 
or get in the way of your growth. Don't put 
yourself down for borrowing, listening 
and learning. Don't say, "I'll never be able 
to do that." You can! You are your own 
obstacle and I've learned that the hard 
way. Drummers who've influenced me are 

MAY 1983 


Steve Gadd, Vinnie Colaiuta, Alex Acuna, 
Harvey Mason, Bernard Purdie, Neil 
Peart, and I could go on and on. They all 
have their own style. It took a long time to 
realize that what I have to say is as impor¬ 
tant as what they have to say. Important to 
me! Sound like yourself, because you will 

JD: You mentioned once that you had 
some dealings with Gene Krupa. Can you 
tell us something about that? 

EK: Whenever the big bands would come 
into town, my father would take me to see 
them perform. That had an unbelievable 
influence on me. When I was a little kid, 
not only would I see my father on stage 
performing with his own band, but he 
would show me other bands and it was an 
invaluable education in the big band era. 
You can't get that today. The kids growing 
up today will never be able to get that and I 
really feel that's the reason for a lack of 
versatility in drummers. They grew up in 
the '60s and 70s and never really got any 
of the influence of the '40s and '50s. 

JD: So you met Gene Krupa through your 

EK: About twice a year, Gene Krupa used 
to bring his band into the club where my 
father worked. On Sunday afternoons, 
Krupa would have an open jam session for 
all the local drummers and all the parents 
would bring their kids. From 4:00 'till 
about 8:00 at night they'd let the kids sit in 
while their parents were there. They chose 
an old standard like "Sunny Side of the 
Street," a nice, medium-tempo jazz tune. 
The kids got the experience of playing with 
Gene's band, on his drums, in front of 
their parents and a club full of people. 
Gene gave back to the kids by talking to 
them and relating what it was like to be a 
professional drummer. It was an invalu¬ 
able experience and I hope to be able to do 
the same some day. 

JD: That leads me to ask you about your 
doing clinics. 

EK: Unfortunately, I'm on such a busy 
schedule right now, that trying to schedule 
clinics is pretty hard. But as soon as I can 
get the time, that's one of the first things I 
want to do. 

JD: Do you have any ideas as to what you 
would do? 

EK: I m sure I would perform at the clin¬ 
ics, play drums, show a couple of different 
beats. But I'm sure that most of it will be 
questions and answers relating to what it's 
actually like being on the road, how my life 
is influenced, how do I practice, and those 
are the things that I like to get across. They 
want to know how I handle it, do I take 
drugs, what do I eat, all sorts of stuff, so I 
really like to relate what it's like to be on 
the road 8 1/2 months every year. 

JD: Taking what you just said about 
drugs, what is your opinion about that? 
EK: No matter what you take, it's going to 
affect your playing. I personally don't take 
drugs when I play because it affects my 
playing. A lot of people smoke pot and use 

cocaine and amphetamines while they 
play, but it doesn't matter what you use: It 
still affects your playing and you're not be¬ 
ing truthful to yourself, it's as simple as 
that. The cold truth is that anything you 
ingest into your body alters your playing. 
My playing requires so much of a physical 
effort that I couldn't have anything in my 
body affecting it. 

JD: Your style seems to me to be very big 
band oriented. Is that only because of the 
type of music you grew up on, or did you 
do a lot of big band playing before Spyro 

EK: It was my influence as I grew up. Dix¬ 
ieland music is sort of big band-ish with 
arrangements, you know. When I was 
growing up, through high school and when 
I went into the service, I played in all the 
big bands. We played all the standard 
charts, and yes, I was influenced by it. But 
I still consider my style to be more r & b, 
funk, rock and soul, as well as having the 
big band influence. 

JD: When you were in the service, was mu¬ 
sic the main thing that you did? 

EK: I went to the Navy School of Music. I 
went to school and played music all day. 
Of course, I had military courses, but mu¬ 
sic was the main thing. I was a musician by 
rating in the service. 

JD: Big band music is what you listened to 
while you were growing up. What do you 
listen to now? 

EK: A lot of black influence. Earth, Wind 
and Fire. I still listen to James Brown. I 
enjoy really good music; music with beau¬ 
tiful changes in it and aggressive playing. I 
listen to the Brecker Brothers. They amaze 
me. They're unbelievable. I listen to 
George Benson and Harvey Mason. 

I still listen to Buddy Rich and I've got 
some Cozy Cole records. I'm talking years 
and years ago, you know, but I think that 
in today's contemporary music, what I like 
to listen to is a really solid, fat sound. 

JD: Tell us something about the tech¬ 
niques you use with your feet. For in¬ 
stance, do you use a heel-toe motion on the 

EK: I like to have it arched up on my toe. I 
like to play with my foot up in the air with 
the toe wedged into the front of the foot 
pedal on the hi-hat. That way, I get better 
response for what I do. For the bass drum, 
my foot is flat on the board, but I lay a lot 
of pressure up towards the tip of my toe 
and toward the front of the plate. My right 
foot is flat. My left foot is on its toes on the 
tip of the plate. 

JD: Any unfulfilled goals? 

EK: I want to do my own album. I want to 
do some writing/recording work. I want to 
do some clinics. After I do those, I'm sure 
ten more will come up. You know, it never 
stops. I would really like to have more time 
to put back a lot of things that I'm giving 
up now by touring. I'm giving up my home 
life and stuff like that. I would love to be 
able to stay home a lot more than I do now. 

“I like the balance 
and control of 
Dnraline Super sticks— 
and they’ll stand up 
to vicious rim shots 
without chewing away,” 

01 lie Brown 

I ‘mducer/few unionist 

ii;a«i st„ So. El i ’A ami 

MAY 1983 


by Randy Martin 

Fusion Drumming 
Through Rhythmic Transposition 

Fusion drumming today is filled with a great deal of rhythmic com¬ 
plexity. Unfortunately, the study of these complex patterns, as 
written in standard drumset notation, can often discourage even 
the most hard-working student. 

And yet, if you're really willing to make a slow, careful study of 
these patterns, and do a little rhythmic transposition, you'll proba¬ 
bly be surprised to find they're often not as complicated as you may 
have originally thought. 

What is rhythmic transposition? Simply a fancy-sounding 
phrase which means to convert the standard drumset notation to 
its rawest form: basic rhythm, sticking and bass line. 

Take this example from Steve Gadd's playing on "Nite Sprite" 
from Chick Corea's Leprechaun album. The example, as written, 
looks like this: 




-£_/ f y ? ’■ 


To rhythmically transpose the pattern, first write out the under¬ 
lying rhythmic pattern. Play it until you've thoroughly absorbed 
the sound. 

fm rm .g 

Cym £ 

Written su if 

B.D M' 

_ 7 * 11 


\ Played 

OT rm, 

*., i,ti Jutt J | * * 4 

=vm J J I aJ—W’ ill jT t i ai i * ■* 1 41 

Written SD ^ » * id d i i i d 

93 * : f i _f rf* a 


i J”t & 0 J J- ^ i] 

\ Played }} -t -t n- i -t l n- -t -t n t_« r— b M 

* * r - ~ * f — = a 

Now proceed to change all cymbal notes to R's (right hand), all 
snare drum notes to L's (left hand), and simultaneously-played 
notes to F's (flams). Practice the pattern with the prescribed stick¬ 
ing, preferably on one sound source at first (pad, snare drum, etc). 


Musical Ex. 3 

Next, pencil in the original bass drum line in its correct position 
under the sticking. 

n -b -b R L R t * b b -R- -R- w -t 31 




You'll probably notice at this point that the tightened and more 
natural appearance of the pattern makes it not only easier to un¬ 
derstand, but much easier to play, as well. After you've mastered 
the pattern and can play it at various tempos, you can begin to 
build it back up again by moving the right hand to cymbal (or hi- 
hat), the left hand to snare drum, and the right foot to bass drum. 

All of the following examples were taken from Steve Gadd's 
work on "Nite Sprite." The rhythmic transposition is written di¬ 
rectly beneath each original transcription. Try all of them. 

Wrmm “ ii 

; n m * if! m a 

1 _/ t '■ _ ’ i ’ a 

{ > L 

Played if 

j W j w f A Wt ,j| 

Written 4 

B.P JP ■ 

*n m*n 




Played JL 

rm m sm , 

£ yx. ft-t =j| 


continued on next page 

MAY 1983 



A leader of the new generation of drummers— 
versatile, musical, original. Chad's work with 
Sill Watrous, Leslie Uggams. frank Zappa and Allan 
Holdsworth spans the musical spectrum. Studio or 
live, jazz or rock, Chad depends on his drum equip* 
men! to provide him with the responsiveness and 
sound his creativity demands. Chad's set wouldn't be 
complete without his Gauger R.I.M.S.™ and Drum 
Workshop 5002 Double Bass Drum Pedal. 

R.LM.S.™ (Resonance Isolation Mounting System) Isa revo¬ 
lutionary way of mounting drums that allows them to 
resonate In a fuller, more natural way. The improvement In 
sound is dramatic and has been acclaimed by pro's like; 

Tom Brechtlein Larrie Londin 

Peter Erskine Harvey Mason 

Tris Imboden Chet McCracken 

Jim Kellner Jetf Porcaro 

Kellh Knudsen Chad Wackerman 

Russell Kunkel Fred White 

Available for mounted toms, floor loms 
BfrW and roto toms. At selected dealers 
|||^ only, or write: Gauger 

15108 Highland Ln. r 
■ Minnetonka. IVIN 55343 

The new Drum Workshop Double 
Bass Drum Pedal's ease of oper¬ 
ation and great chain drive feel 
gives drummers a new world of 
performance possibilities to ex¬ 
plore. It also provides an exciting 
alternative for double bass drum 
players. Jim Keltner, Vtnnle Colaluta, 
Russell Kunkel and John Hernandez 
are just a few of the outstanding 
drummers who. flke Chad, have 
chosen to make the DW 5002 a 
standard part of their drurosets. 

Drum Workshop, 269? Lavery M 
CL Unit 16, Newbury Park. CA ■ 
91320 (80S) 499-6863 M 

■ ■ _>j 


1 ** 

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e.D — £ 



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t=? =p ~r * p r 








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Next time you're stumped by a complex written example and ready to give up, try applying this method. You'll be amazed at how your 
skills will improve. [-*j 

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MAY 1983 

Bill Bruford doesn't play the new Simmons electronic kit 
because it’s the most amazing looking set ever made. Or 
because it comes in a range of 7 dazzling colours. Or because it 
can fit comfortably in the trunk of even the smallest auto. 

Bill’s not bothered about things like that. 

But, as a truly creative musician, what he is bothered about is 
finding the kit that can help him extend the frontiers of his craft. 

Bill uses Simmons live and in the studio because (unlike most 
electronic drums) our kits are for playing. 

Not for playing with. 

1 ' I believe that, just as the electric guitar 
revolutionized guitar-playing, the 

introduction of Simmons drums is just the beginning of 
a new era that will make the drummer's art more challenging, 
more exciting than ever before" 

But you don't have to take Bill's word for it. Send $2 to us at 
Simmons Group Centre Inc., PO Box 1444, Reseda, CA91335 and 
we’ll send you a special recording of Simmons drums in action. 

Then, like Bill Bruford, you’ll be convinced that the sound of 
Simmons really is the sound of things to come. 

And if you’d like to see Bill play Simmons 
on video, write, enclosing$53.95, for 
' Bruford and the Beat’ to Axis Video I nc., 

PO Box 21322, Baltimore, Maryland 21208. 




by Robyn Flans 







On February 3rd, Karen Carpenter died of 
a massive cardiac arrest. Reports have 
linked her weak heart to a disease from 
which she suffered, but recently had over¬ 
come: anorexia nervosa; the compulsion 
to be thin. 

Like many, I only knew Karen through 
her music and her smooth, stirring vocals 
on such songs as "Close To You," "For 
All We Know," "Rainy Days and Mon¬ 
days," and "Goodbye to Love." I can't 
recall the number of brides and grooms I 
saw walk down the aisle to "We've Only 
Just Begun," and I can recall how the 
depth of her emotion on "Superstar" 
touched my adolescent heart. 

I want to express my gratitude to those I 
contacted who knew Karen and worked 
with her and were willing to answer ques¬ 
tions and share memories in a time of per¬ 
sonal loss. Bassist Joe Osborn recorded 
Richard and Karen Carpenter in his garage 
studio while they were still in high school. 
"Karen always had a terrific style," he 
recalls. Osborn wanted to help them and 
constantly told Hal Blaine about these two 
special kids—Richard on organ and Karen 
on drums and vocals. 

"I met Karen during the Jimmy Webb 
session of 'MacArthur Park,' I believe," 
Hal remembers. "Joe invited them over to 
the studio because he had always told me 
about them and said we should do some¬ 
thing with them. He wanted me to produce 
them. We talked and they were very nice, 

but I said to Joe, 'How in the heck are we 
going to go into the studio and produce 
them when we're doing four, five and six 
sessions a day?" 

But both Osborn and Blaine ended up 
on Carpenter's records when A&M signed 
them, with producer Jack Daugherty at the 
helm. Their first album, Offering (later 
reissued with the name of their semi-hit of 
the Beatles' song "Ticket to Ride"), made 
some noise and paved the way for their sec¬ 
ond album, Close to You. Enter Hal 

"When they decided to go with profes¬ 
sional musicians, they had talked to Karen 
about my playing drums, and as far as she 
was concerned, it was fine because they 
wanted a hit. Her mother was upset at first 
and said, 'I've watched drummers on T.V. 
for years and Karen is as good as any of 
them.' She didn't understand that there 
were different techniques involved, but 
eventually she understood. 

"I've always said Karen was a good 
drummer to begin with. Often times, guys 
think that a girl drummer isn't right, no 
matter what. But I knew she could play 
right away when she'd sit down at my 
drums on sessions. She played a lot of the 
album cuts as well, and we had Howie 
Oliver make her up a set of my monster 
drums. But about the third or fourth hit, I 
remember I said to her, 'When are you 
going to get off the drums? You sing too 
good and you should be fronting the 


Enter Cubby O'Brien. Cubby was asked 
to join the road band in 1973 and also 
recorded some of the album tracks, 
remaining with them until they stopped 
touring around 1979. 

"Karen was very knowledgable about 
the drums and was a very good drummer, 
there's no doubt about that. Some of the 
things we did together were not easy. 
Richard wanted it exactly the way it was on 
record. When I first joined the group, 
Karen was still playing in the show. We 
worked out all the drum breaks from the 
records and I played exactly what she did. 
The idea of getting me was to actually get 
her off the drums, and in order to do that, 
they needed a strong drummer. Richard 
had grown up with her playing and 
thought a lot of it, so it was hard for some¬ 
body else to take over that chair. 

"But at one time, playing was a very big 
issue in her life. I remember one time 
Karen and I went to see Buddy Rich and 
Louie Bellson's band. I know Buddy fairly 
well, so before the show, I took Karen to 
meet him backstage. He was getting ready 
when I introduced her, 'Buddy, this is 
Karen Carpenter.' And he said, 'Karen 
Carpenter! You're one of my favorite 
drummers, you know that?" When we got 
back to our seats, Karen turned to me and 
said, 'Was he putting me on?' 

"Karen was a very special person. She 
was always a very happy, very up, person, 
even when things were bad. Her death 
shocked me and really saddened me. I 
spoke to her just four or five days before 
she died and she was feeling good and 
much stronger than she had felt. She 
wasn't getting as tired as she had in the 
past, and all the way around, things were 
straightening out. She and Richard were 
making plans to perform and thinking of 
going over to Japan and playing out of the 
country first." (According to Joe 
Osborn, there are still about forty tracks 
recorded last year that are yet to be 

In 1969, a woman drummer was 
unheard of. Today, in 1983, it is still unu¬ 
sual. It does, in fact, take a lot of courage 
for a woman to pursue that instrument 
when the stereotypes are so difficult to 
penetrate. "Karen hated somebody to say, 
'You're really good—for a woman,"' 
Cubby said. "Nobody better have said 
that!" * 

The xionenn 


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We vc selected mare than 75 of the most 
informative and helpful articles from our 
ten most popular columns, written by 
some of our most popular authors! 

Here's the very best of MD in a jam-packed, 124 
page volume that's overflowing with invaluable 
drumming information. Information you'll want 
lo refer to again and again. Information you 
won’t find anywhere else. 

This book represents the must reading segment of 
MD’s six years. It’s one book that should be in 
every serious drummer's library. 























DRtifliniPR Library 















T) T?" 


MD readers can write to Hal Blaine in 
care of: Staying In Tune, Modern Drum¬ 
mer Magazine, 1000 Clifton Ave., Clif¬ 
ton, NJ 07013 

by Hal Blaine 

Q. Iam 17 years old and have been playing 
two years. I’mplaying in a rock band but 
like all kinds of music. Sometimes when 
Tmpracticing, I get discouraged because I 
can I get a roll down right or I get discour¬ 
aged by the attitudes of my band members. 
They don’t get serious. I believe inputting 
out 100%. I really believe that, someday, I 
can be a good drummer if I could just get 
some encouragement and tips about time, 
practice and anything else helpful to the 
development of a good drummer. Thank 
you very much. 


LaFollette, TN 

A. Gosh, how can you give a guy forty 
years of tips in one letter? The fact that 
you're giving 100% is important. Give 
everything you do 100%. As far as those 
other clowns go, they'll probably wind up 
out of the business and they're probably 
not going to be a very happy lot in the long 
run. Just the fact that you wrote me shows 
you're into what you are doing. Obviously 
you're growing and developing. Imagine 
what it will be like after playing five years? 
Better bands and other musicians. Don't 
let these guys get you down. 

As far as yourself, you've got to keep 
yourself together, straight, away from 
drugs—the obvious. 

One thing to learn is what not to play. 
Like most drummers, we're all showoffs. I 
mean that in the good sense. When we play 
we want to get in there and play every lick 
we ever heard, but you can't do that. The 
band needs you to hold that beat for them. 
So, don't overplay. 

Do what you're doing 100%, but don't 
let your life become one drum after an¬ 
other, one piece of music after another. If 
you think and play nothing but drums, 24 
hours a day, you're going to be a very mis¬ 
erable person some day with nothing to 
seek or think about. You've got to find that 

A certain amount of music; a certain 
amount of diversion. It's just like your 
body: a certain amount of being awake; a 
certain amount of sleep and rest time. By 
the same token, don't let your hobby take 
up all your time. Find that happy balance 
and you'll be a happy guy. It sounds like 
you're really on your way, like so many 
guys that are really taking care of themsel¬ 
ves nowadays. 

Q. I’m 16 years old and preparing for a 
professional drumming career. I was se¬ 
lected for the McDonalds All-American 
High School Marching Band which was a 


high honor. But, recently I lost my first 
audition and I’m really upset about it. It 
was for the McDonalds Jazz Band, and 
sometimes I think I’ll never make it. 


Severn, MD 

A. When you've lost an audition, try to 
think about the drummer who got it. I 
know it's hard because you're hurt and up¬ 
set but, it's just possible that he's worked a 
little harder than you. It's possible that in 
the jazz realm, you weren't quite up to the 
standard that you were in the marching 
band. It sounds like you were doing terrific 
there. I wouldn't be surprised if you just 
need a little more work in the jazz thing. 
Don't let it get you down. Frankly, we all 
have our weak points to work on. At 16, I 
think you're resilient enough to come back 
from this temporary upset and get to work 
on what you have to do to improve your 
playing. Practice hard and work on the 
jazz thing, if that's what's throwing you a 
curve. It's also possible you missed that 
audition by only a judge's point or two—it 
doesn't mean you're the worst drummer in 
the world. Practice and listen and it'll all 
come together for you. 

Q. I have a good friend who is a top session 
drummer in Los Angeles. He invited me to 
the studio when he was recording recently 
and, watching him, I discovered several 
things about myself. I tend to sound 
"muddy," not clean. Also, I tend to rush. 
My left hand is very lazy. I would deeply 
appreciate any suggestions and/or exer¬ 
cises you could relay to me as If eel deeply 


Palm Desert, CA 
A. Start putting that right hand of yours in 
your pocket. Start thinking of your left 
hand as your right, using it to open doors 
and dial phones. When you sit, uncon- 
ciously tapping with your right fingers, put 
that hand away and switch to the left. Most 
people are right handed. Drummers' left 
hands do get lazy, as do their left feet. Start 
using your left hand, and the right side of 
your brain starts to get used. That's where 
your time comes in. Your brain's a com¬ 
puter and it draws practically from the day 
you were born. So, if you want to get a 
good tempo, get yourself a metronome 
and start playing with it. Sing to yourself 
and play the drums with it. Play with the 
click and you'll find yourself getting way 
ahead and way behind. When you start 
getting with it, your brain takes over. 
Eventually, with enough practice, you'll 
know when you start rushing and drag¬ 

Naturally, work with the stick in your 
left hand. The big thing, for now, is to for¬ 
get your right hand for a while. It'll come 

As far as drum sounds, you know that 
studio drummers dampen this and that. 
You get a room sound, but you're not al¬ 
ways in an acoustically good room. One of 
the best places to practice is outdoors, be¬ 
cause the sound is totally absorbed and 
gone. A small room gives you a tremen¬ 
dous echo situation. The drums will sound 
bigger and you'll sound like you're playing 
much more. Playing outside is the real test. 
Then, you'll find out what you're really 

Q. A goodfriend of mine saw you in con¬ 
cert with John Denver several years ago. 
He tried to describe a sound effect that you 
produced while a Frisbee sailed through 
the air. Do you happen to recall what you 
were using at the time to accompany "Fris¬ 
bee flight"? 


Granite Quarry, NC 
A. I have no idea what your friend saw. 
The only thing I can think of that would 
have been close to it would have been my 
wind chimes or, as they are professionally 
called, a Mark Tree named after the in¬ 
ventor, Mark Stevens. They are brass 
tubes that vary in pitch consecutively, 
from very high to very low. It's a beautiful 
sound. Maybe this is what he saw me us¬ 

Q. I have high hopes of becoming a studio 
drummer someday, but my problem is that 
lean’t read a note of music. Is the ability to 
read charts an absolute necessity, or is 
there hope for me yet? 


Kansas City, MO 
A. If you have high hopes, you definitely 
will have to read and that's all that there is 
to it! Go out and get yourself a teacher and 
start learning, like everyone else. Think 
about this: when you walk into a session, 
there might be 25 musicians there and, if 
they have to wait for you to memorize your 
part while they are reading music, this will 
cost thousands of dollars. No one in the 
world is going to wait for you. Reading 
music is no different then learning the 
ABC's. When you first read a book it was 
c-a-t and d-o-g. Before you know it you'll 
be putting notes together in groups, just 
like words, and you won't be concentrat¬ 
ing on reading. The meaning and sound of 
the groups will be just as clear as words are 
to you now, automatically. 

MAY 1963 

Q. I’ve been playing for seven years and 
every time I get into a band that’s good, 
people’s heads start to get bigger and big¬ 
ger. This gets very hard to handle, as I feel 
that I’m not a bad drummer, I’m not hard 
to get along with and have never had trou¬ 
ble communicating with anyone. But also, 
I got into a car accident that messed up my 
back where I had already slipped a disc. 
Now it’s very hard to play and I’m hoping I 
don’t have to give up drumming. Any ad¬ 


South Village, IL 
A. I'm sorry to hear about your accident. I 
have heard of a system called Gravity 
Guidance Center in Pasadena, California. 
It's run by a Dr. Martin. Many chiroprac¬ 
tors are using this system. I'm sure you 
could get the address from your doctor, or 
by writing directly for literature. Perhaps 
there is a local distributor in your area. Be 
sure to check with your doctor first. 

As far as working with these people is 
concerned, often, there are people that you 
just can't work with. Once they start think¬ 
ing that the whole audience is looking only 
at them, it's usually the start of a breakup. 
Sounds to me that your head is in the right 
direction and that you're probably a better 
drummer than you're telling. 

Q. I am 16 years old and have been playing 
for three years. Istartedplaying club dates 
when I was 14 and many people tell me I’m 
going someplace. The only thing on my 
mind is drums and the fact that my band 
members are in their mid-20’s tells me that 
I have time. But, many older musicians tell 
me to get in a better band because this one 
is holding me back. Iplayed violinfor nine 
years and got a lot of theory and back¬ 
ground, but quit because I thought that 
drums could be a fantastic career. My 
band and I just came back from a record¬ 
ing studio which only confused me more. 
Should I quit my band or not? 


Binghamton, NY 
A. Your violin background can only be a 
great help to you, of course. But, the fact 
that you've only been playing drums three 
years means that you're at the very begin¬ 
ning. Slow down; take your time. You do 
have time. Don't get on the backs of the 
older guys who obviously have more expe¬ 
rience. You might have more musical 
background, but the on-the-job experience 
makes all the difference. Every time you 
play, you are learning and adding to your 

experience and, like it or not, you're learn¬ 
ing from the guys you're playing with. 
Eventually, when the right band comes 
along and wants you, then you'll be ready 
to go with that band. But right now, if I 
were you, I'd stick with this band, keep 
practicing, learning and studying. That's 
most important. As far as the studio con¬ 
fusion, I would say to get as much time as 
you can around the studio. Hang around 
New York studios. There are guys who'll 
take you in and let you watch if they know 
that you're a musician and trying to learn. 
And you will learn. One thing you don’t 
want to do is get on your high horse and 
say, "These guys aren't good enough for 
me," or "I'm to good for these guys." 
You're 16 and it's not likely to happen to 
you for at least 10 years. I'm not saying I 
wish it wouldn't, because I'd love for all of 
us to make it as soon as possible. What will 
happen is that through the years, as you get 
more experience and ability, you'll be 
ready to take advantage of the opportuni¬ 
ties that will present themselves to you. 

Q. I’m 20 years old. I studied drums for 
two years and now, after two years off, I’ve 
been studying with a college student who’s 
in the jazz band. I get desperate because I 
can ’t do things which I hear other drum¬ 
mers do. Ipractice everyday but I don ’tsee 
much improvement. I have trouble doing 
doubles, sambas and fusion rhythms. Can 
you help? 


Miami, FL 

A. I don't think you have a problem at all. 
You have a whole lot of years ahead of you 
to get better and better. You may not see 
much improvement, but you do see some 
improvement and that's the key. If you see 
a little improvement, every day, for 365 
days, you will be a 365% better drummer. 
It's a matter of sitting down and working 
out what you have been hearing on records 
and what you want to learn. Read MD, get 
the books on independence to work on 
your hi-hat and bass drum coordination. 
That's what I did. You will see an improve¬ 
ment if you keep at it with a positive atti¬ 
tude. Let me know how you do. 

Q. I began playing at 15 in a marching 
band. The drummers were left to teach 
themselves so, in three years I couldn’t 
read a quaver. From 18 to 24, I was unable 
to play for reason beyond my control. 
Eighteen months ago I set my self a goal to 

become a pro drummer. I’mtaking lessons 
and I play weekly with a bass player and 
rhythm guitarist. I hope to study in Amer¬ 
ica someday. I feel I’m talented, but some 
people tell me that to be a pro, you must 
start playing in childhood. What do you 
think? I’ll be 25 this year but feel like a 


Traralgon, Australia 
A. Good. The older you get, you want to 
be young at heart. I'm sure that will show 
in your playing. After laying off for so 
long, it sounds like you're dedicated now. 
If it's the thing that makes you happy, the 
drums will keep you healthy. As far as 
studying, I think you're absolutely right to 
be studying now and doing as much play¬ 
ing as possible with other musicians. It's 
the only way to better yourself. There's an 
expression in the States: "I don't read 
enough to hurt my playing." That's non¬ 
sense from people who are afraid to work 
hard. Reading will help you like it's helped 
me and anyone else I've ever known that's 
gone on to be a professional player. Any¬ 
one can learn to fake a little but somewhere 
along the line the guillotine's going to 
come down. Keep at it and don't be dis¬ 
couraged. If you get to America, perhaps 
you could drop me a line and we'll get to¬ 
gether and talk. 

Q. I have been playing trap set for two 
years at an intermediate level. I am very 
interested in learning how to use double- 
bass drums and the hi-hat as well as 
improving my four-way coordination. I 
would appreciate your advising me on the 
best way to pursue my interests. 


Honolulu, Hawaii 

A. There are many great books on the 
market that teach double bass and inde¬ 
pendent coordination. I would talk to 
other drummers who are using these tech¬ 
niques and possibly study with them. 
There are several very fine drummers in 
Hawaii. One of them is Harold Chang and 
another is Danny Barcelona. Perhaps 
they'd be willing to work with you. I'm 
sure the union can put you in touch with 
them. Try The Drum Shack too. My old 
buddy that's running it might be able to 
give you the names of some of the other 
really good teachers over there. Tell him I 


MAY 1983 

Q. I recently purchased an 18" Ludwig floor tom and I have a big 
problem. The drum is acrylic and there is a 1" long crack starting at 
the top hole drilled for the lug bracket. Every time I play, the crack 
grows 1/8”. Soon it will meet the other hole and the bracket will pull 
out. How can I fix this? 


San Deandro, CA 

A. Bill Gerlach at Ludwig said that you may take your drum to a 
dealer who will then send it to Ludwig for a determination as to 
whether or not the drum will be repaired or replaced, as well as 
whether or not there will be a charge. He emphasized that the com¬ 
pany can take no responsibility for a shell that has been worked on 
or repaired anywhere other than at their factory. If for your own 
reasons, you wish to repair the drum yourself, Tim Hermann, 
technician and repairman for The Modern Drum Shop in NYC, 
offers this advice: "You need to glue the crack with a cyanoacry- 
late-basedglue, the active ingredient in Crazy Glue or Elmers' Su¬ 
per Bond. Seal the crack with that and make a back-up plate out of 
aluminum, slightly bigger than the back of the lug itself. Drill two 
holes in this plate where the lug screws go through and use this to 
help take offthe stress on the plastic a snowshoe effect." 

Q. I've been taking drum lessons for about four years and I have a 
problem. I'm right handed and whenever I practice rudiments, I 
notice that my left hand is stronger for some reason. My teacher 
says that because I play my right hand on the hi-hat, my left hand 
does all the hard work. Please help. 


East Walpole, MA 

A. One way to develop even-handedness is to buddy our endurance 
and, thereby, your strength and control. Dexterity in right or left 
hand is a matter of equalizing the weaker to the stronger limb and 
proceeding from there. You might try the following exercise based 
on George Stone's Stick Control. Turn to pages 5, 6 and 7 and 
you'llsee that the exercises are written in 8th-notepatterns that 
indicate right- and left-hand sticking. Set your metronome so that 
80 equals the quarter note. Then, vamp with your right hand in a 
straight 8th-notepattern, playing all the notes marked "L" with 
your left hand. The right hand willfill in and play a constant pat¬ 
tern of 8th notes against this. Repeat each line twice before going 
on to the next, without stopping. Do this until you play the first six 
exercises on the page, then stop and raise the metronome one notch 
and continue the exercise as before, vamping with your right hand 
and changing metronome settings every six lines, all the way 
through page seven. Then, bring the metronome back to 80 and 
begin again, using the left hand to vamp and the right hand to play 
all the "R"parts. This will slowly develop your endurance and 
strength, out of which will come even-handedness. You may wish 
to begin the exercise at a higher metronome setting but remember, 
the point of this is for you to gain real control and dexterity with 
both hands, so don’t cheatyourselfby rushing things. 

Q. I recently saw Steve Smith play "The Black Page" at a drum 
clinic in Toronto and he knocked me out. Do you know where I 
could get a transcript of it? 


Toronto, Ontario Canada 
A. For a complete listing of available Frank Zappa drum parts 
contact: Barking Pumpkin Drum Transcriptions, 7720 Sunset 
Blvd., Hollywood, CA. 90046. 

Have a problem? A question? Ask MD. Address all 
questions to: Modern Drummer, c/o It's Question¬ 
able, 1000 Clifton Ave., Clifton, NJ 07013. Ques¬ 
tions cannot be answered personally. 

by Michael Epstein 

Q. I have a 10 x 14 Ludwig tom-tom that has sounded like crap 
ever since I got it. Can I take the supportive rings out of the ends of 
this drum? I could be wrong, but I think it messes with the tone of 
the drum. 


Sioux City, la 

A. According to Ludwig, those supportive glue rings are what’s 
keeping that drum from going out of round, as well as coming 
apart at the seam. Any bent wood has a tendency to seek its origi¬ 
nal, flat configuration, so the thinking at that time was to support 
the shell with the glue rings. Over the years, it was discovered that 
the rings did not allow the column of air in a drum to vibrate suffi¬ 
ciently to produce maximum tone, so Ludwig wentfrom three-ply 
shells with a "lap" seam and glue rings, to a six-ply shell with butt 
joins. This solved the problem of shell strength and sound. As for 
the drum sound, the reasons could be as varied as your choice of 
head, an out-of-round shell, uneven tensioning, etc. Ifyou really 
can ’tget a decent sound thatyou like, we suggest taking the drum 
to a competent technician atyour local drum shop. 

Q. I have recently acquired a beautiful set of black Yamaha 
drums. I'd like to know a way to keep the drums free of finger¬ 
prints and other annoying marks. 


San Francisco, C A 

A. You don’t mention what series the drums are whether it’s a 
black piano finish or black plasticfinish. For the piano finish you 
can use almost any furniture polish. Fora compound with a partic¬ 
ularly low silicone content, try a guitar polish. These polishes have 
the advantage of not "attacking" the lacquer finish. If it’s plastic, 
Ken Dramer at Yamaha recommends using Windex. He feels, if 
you’re talking about afingerprint that’s only been there a short 
time, you can just wipe it off. But if the skin oils and acids start to 
set in, they can "eat" thefinish off either model. 

Q. I have some old wooden drums. How can I restore a good bear¬ 
ing edge to them? 


No Address 

A. This is the kind of do-it-yourself project that we would suggest 
you try only ifyou are an experienced wood worker and have ac¬ 
cess to the proper tools. If such is the case, there are afew ways to 
go about this. You can do it by hand, with a wood file, which is a 
lot more difficult than using a router. Professional technician Marc 
Coveil, of the Creative Drum Shop in Scottsdale, Arizona, recom¬ 
mends attaching the router to the edge ofyour work table, so that 
the router bit is stationary. Next, you set up a guide for the shell, so 
that it can be revolved evenly against the bit. The angle of the 
bearing edge depends on the make of the drum, and there is contro¬ 
versy among designers as to what constitutes the most effective 
bevel. Slingerland has a sharp edge; Gretsch has a rounded edge. 
The round edge seems to put less pres sure on the heads, resulting in 
less breakage and more evenly distributed tensioning, resulting in a 
clearer lone. After you decide on the angle that’s right for you, it’s 
essential to keep the edge level and in round as you rout. Take a 
pane of glass, larger than the diameter of the shell, and as you 
revolve the shell, stop often to lay the glass over the edge. It if 
wobbles, or if, when you get eye-level with the glass, it’snot mak¬ 
ing contact at every point with the shell, you have to adjust accord¬ 
ingly. This all takes time andpatience. We would suggest talking to 
a competent repairman in your area before beginning, and if it 
seems like more than you can handle, allow him to do the work. 


MAY 1983 

Q. In recent years, the Swiss method of rudimental drumming has 
come to the fore. The "bible" of this idiom is a book by Dr. Fritz 
Berger entitled Der Basel Trommlen. Could you tell me how I may 
obtain a copy of this book? 


Oakville, Ontario 

A. As recently as 1980 this book could be obtained by writing to 
Hug and Company, Gerbergasse 70, Basel-Bale, Switzerland. The 
price at that time was 11 Swiss Francs. Published in 1965, the book 
contains a collection of Basel drum solos and drum accompani¬ 
ments to fife tunes. F. Michael Combs, who provided this infor¬ 
mation for us, compiled a bibliography of Swiss rudimental books 
which appeared in the PAS research edition for Spring-Summer of 
1980. You may address inquiries to him at the Department of Mu¬ 
sic, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN37996-2600. 

Q. I need some tips on the type of glue I should use for re-covering 
my drums. Could you also tell me the approximate cost of plastic 
to cover a 20" bass drum, a 16" floor tom and two 3" tom-toms in a 
white finish? 


Tacoma, WA 

A. It depends on the type of plastic you buy. There are two types. 
One is a cellulose-acetate that requires Weldwood Contact Ce¬ 
ment. You apply a thin coat to both surfaces and let them dry 
before bringing them togetherfor a bond. This type of glue sticks 
to itself. For Satin Flame typefinishes, a light glue, like Elmer's is 
used because this is a different kind of plastic, with a backing that 
will be dissolved by Weldwood glue. White plastic for a 20" bass 
drum will run you about $25. A 16"floor tom is around$20 and the 
13" toms are $12 each. There are various companies offering plastic 
for sale. You might try the Precision Drum Company, 151 Califor¬ 
nia Road, Yorktown Heights, New York 10598. TheyTlmailyou a 
brochure with samples. 

Q. I normally use Pro-Mark 7A sticks, but hitting my crash cym¬ 
bals directly on the edge really chews them up. I use up a pair a 
month. They don't break, they just get all chewed up. Is this nor¬ 
mal or am I hitting them wrong? I recently got a pair of Duraline 
55's and they're doing the same things. Will these sticks shatter if 
worn too much? 


Jewett City, CT 

A. There’s no way to stop a stick from shredding if you hit a cym¬ 
bal directly on the edge. Classic cymbal technique calls for a glanc¬ 
ing blow to the top edge. In most modern, high-powered music, 
practice differs from theory, as you are finding out. The 1A is a 
fairly light stick and a shredded pair per month, depending on how 
much use it gets, seems to be a reasonable casualty rate. Eli Koni- 
koff, ofSpyro Gyra, regularly shatters synthetic sticks, so it is pos¬ 
sible to do. Things could be worse you could be shattering your 

Q. I have a problem sight reading. I do have a good understanding 
of theory, but I find it very difficult to sight read and keep my place 
in the music. Can you offer some suggestion as to how to overcome 
this problem? 


Northfield, VT 

A. The only thing to do is put your self in musical situations where 
you have to do a lot of sight reading and just keep at it! Try and 
find a rehearsal band in your area that reads through charts. There 
are many players of other instruments who are in the same boat 
and who need to improve their own skills. Get some Music Minus 
One albums that contain charts and play along. The advantage 
here is that you can go at your own pace. If you can, round up some 
players and start a reading-type band. If everyone chips in for mu¬ 
sic, it can be done quite reasonably. There are many private in¬ 
structors who specialize in teaching chart reading. Whichever way 
you choose to go about it, the more you do it, the more adept you 
will become. 

MAY 1983 

Q. Recently I acquired a dark sounding ride cymbal that's 
stamped "Made In Italy" in ink on the underside of the bell. 
Who's the manufacturer? Are these cymbals available new in the 
United States? 


New York, N.Y. 

A. We showedyour question to Massimo Cappa, a representative 
of the Tosca Cymbal Company in Italy. He told us that there is a 
group of Italian cymbal makers called Unione Fabbrisuti Italisiri 
Piatti (Union of Italian Cymbal Makers) who produce several 
cymbals that fit your description. Massimo said that the produc¬ 
tion is very limited right now, and to his knowledge they are not 
available new in the U.S. 

Q. I am very much interested in bagpipe music. Who can I get in 
touch with about joining a bagpipe and drum corps? 


Pittsburgh, PA 

A. Try contacting Marching Bands of America, PO Box 97, Elk 
Grove Village, III. 60007, or Drum Corps News, 899 Boylston 
Street, Boston, MA 02115. 

Q. I play Premier drums which were distributed by Selmer, but I 
found that Selmer will no longer carry Premier equipment. Where 
will I buy new equipment or find parts that need replacement? 


Grosse Pointe Woods, MI 
A. Premier Drums are now being distributed in the U.S. and Mex¬ 
ico, exclusively by Music Technology Inc. Any dealers who have 
previously handled Premier parts will continue to do so. Music 
Technology is setting up a new dealer network to distribute the 
drums themselves. To obtain a list of dealers inyour area, write to: 
Tom Meyers, c/o Music Technology, Inc., 105 Fifth Avenue, Gmr. 
den City Park, NY 11040. T 

New ftom Pro-Mark A, 
beouhful handTnished 
dfumettcfc pen. Almost 7” long, 
it just like one of our 
hand-made drumsticks. and is 
mode of Iha sorne -high Im¬ 

ported wood. Your cost is just $J.GG 
per pen (plus St .00 postage gnd hand¬ 
ling 1 £ach pen comes with an extra Tefill 
in on attractive gin cox. 

S6Tk 3 $4.QQ per pen today, cdlow 4-6 WWki 
lor delivery and you'll be rlgfrl In time to write 
In Hmtf 

We help you so ufi0 better M ft 


* A Division q \ ft-emc, Inc 

10706 Cog need/Houston. TX 77085 
(713) 666-2525 


Danny Gottlieb is currently in a period 
of transition. He is no longer with the Pat 
Metheny Group, after having been in that 
band for six years. "It was time for a 
change so I could become involved in other 
musical situations. Pat also needed a 
change since I was the only drummer the 
group ever had. It's really the best for all 
involved." For those of us who have en¬ 
joyed Danny's playing with Metheny there 
is good news from ECM: later this month a 
double album will be released which was 
recorded live during the Metheny Group's 

By the time this prints, hopefully Michael 
Botts’ plans will have reached fruition. 
When we spoke a couple of months ago, 
Michael and Andrew Gold were in the 
process of choosing members for their own 
band, and negotiating with interested par¬ 
ties. Michael has been enjoying working in 
both studio and live performance situa¬ 
tions. Last year he went on tour with Karla 
Bonoff, in addition to becoming more in¬ 
volved in the L.A. studio scene. He says a 
balance of both is necessary to keep the 
playing fresh and exciting. '1 got so turned 
on working with Karla again and doing the 
live stage work. Every time I work with 

A record I'm sure we're all looking for¬ 
ward to hearing is a combined effort by 
Steve Gadd and Ralph MacDonald. 
"About three years ago, I told Sieve that 
one day we should do an album together. 
He said he thought so loo, but with his 
schedule and my schedule, it look three 
years to gel going," Ralph MacDonald 
laughed. "Steve decided not to go on the 
road too much now and I stopped the con¬ 
stant travelling years ago, so in November 
of last year, Steve called and asked if I were 
still interested. We set up a lime to gel to- 

Kenny Aronoff on upcoming album 
with Mitch Ryder recorded in Southern In¬ 
diana. Jimmy Cobb is presently a member 
of the Nat Adderley Quiniet. The band re¬ 
leased two live albums on Theresa Records 
in late January. Tony Williams is in the 
midst of a worldwide tour with VSOP 
through August. Larry Londin can be 
heard on upcoming Adrian Belew album, 
recorded live in Champagne, Illinois. Lon¬ 
din can also be heard on Joe Cocker's up¬ 
coming release. Myron Grombacher is cur¬ 
rently in Japan with Pat Benatar. Graham 
Lear is currently on lour in Europe with 
Santana, including some Iron Curtain 
countries. Lear also played on a couple of 
Carlos' solo album tracks, produced by 
Jerry Wexler. Look for Mark Sanders on 
Tower of Power's next album, due out this 
spring or early summer on Polygram. It is 
the first album the group has recorded 
since Mark joined them two years ago. Va¬ 
nilla Fudge album due out this month with 
all its original members, including Car- 

'82 tour, which included Danny and per¬ 
cussionist Nana Vasconcelos (who is also 
no longer with Metheny). 

Meanwhile, Gottlieb has relocated in 
New York City where he is starting to en¬ 
joy a variety of musical situations. He 
played several gigs with Brazilian guitarist 
Toninho Horta, and did some jingles for 
Elias Associates along with bassist Mark 
Egan. "It was a lot of fun because they're a 
company that utilizes the creative abilities 
of the musicians." So listen for Danny's 
trademark cymbal sounds. 

new equipment, new people or a new situa¬ 
tion, I get excited all over again. I just want 
to do it all. When I finished the six-and-a- 
half weeks with Karla, about four days 
later, I started on an album project with 
New Zealand artist Sharon O'Neil. After 
the first take, John Boylan [producer] 
came out and said, 'Gee Botts, you ought 
to go out on the road more often. Your 
chops are up and you have all kinds of 
fresh ideas.' I come back a little fresher, 
with new ideas from working with some 
other players." 

Botts is delighted that he has finally bro¬ 
ken through the son of "type casting" he 
gether and went into my studio. The con¬ 
cept is Gadd and MacDonald. He is a 
drummer and I am a percussionist, so the 
basis for the whole record is drums," he 
explained, although adding that there is 
other instrumentation on the record. "We 
tried to gel the tom-toms and a lot of low 
drums recorded properly. As opposed to 
the drums fitting into the track, we let the 
other musicians fit themselves into the 

He and Sieve did a couple of clinics in 
Germany and France at the beginning of 

mine Appice. Bill Molenhof debuted his 
new group in January called Words and 
Music. The ensemble features his composi¬ 
tions, lyrics and drums. Congratulations 
to Keith Knudsen who married Kale on 
Valentines Day. Keith can be heard on the 
Kendalls upcoming album. Steve McCall is 
no longer with Air, and the group will be 
performing with different guest percus¬ 
sionists. Look for Steve Smith’s completed 
solo project on CBS records. The album is 
called Vital Information and it's a radical 
departure from Journey-related music. 
Stix Hooper has officially left the Cru¬ 
saders. The Drum Band has been formed 
with Scott Morris, Steve Mitchell and 
Chuck Bernstein. Craig Krampf played on 
a tune he co-wrote, recorded by Irene 
Cara. Mike Stobie, drummer and owner of 
Slowbeat Percussion Productions in L.A., 
is just home from a lour with Jan Berry (of 
Jan and Dean) in the Far East. Just prior to 
that, they loured Australia. Harvey Mason 
is in Europe with Lee Ritenour. Jaimoe 

by Robyn Flans 

He and Egan have also been spending 
time promoting their album collaboration, 
Elements. In March, they did an East 
Coast tour in conjunction with Flora Pu- 
rim. Danny and Mark are now making 
plans for the next Elements record. "Due 
to the success of the first record, Elements 
has become somewhat of a priority, but 
I'm also looking to play with as many dif¬ 
ferent people as possible in order to pursue 
my musical development." 

went through when Bread ended. Pro¬ 

ducers just assumed he was a ballad player, 
when in fact, Michael considers his forte to 
be rock and loves to play hard. By the way, 
for those who wondered whatever became 
of Bread, the group did not choose to 
cease. They have been tied up in litigation 
since 1978 due to internal conflicts, hailing 
all royally payments, recordings and per¬ 
formances. "Because of the amount of 
lime the judicial procedure requires, when 
the decision is finally reached, Bread will 
be rock 'n' roll history. The only people 
who are going to lose is the group and the 

the year, as well as participating in Zildj ian 
Day in Los Angeles. MacDonald is also 
currently producing an album for Roberta 
Flack, production being his emphasis these 
days. "I've always been able to relate to 
people's talents and step away from the 
whole project and look at it from an objec¬ 
tive point of view. I think that companies 
are responsible when they can get a pro¬ 
ducer who stays within the budget and still 
turns out a decent project. I like produc¬ 
ing. I like gelling into other artists and try¬ 
ing to bring out the best in them and trying 
to support what they're doing." 

Johnson has been devoting his lime to two 
bands recently. The Pearl is a straight¬ 
ahead jazz band featuring T. Leviiz of the 
Dregs on keyboards and Earl "The Pearl" 
Ford on trombone. Tall Dogs is a more 
rock-oriented band with Steve Kent on 
drums and vocals and Jaimoe on percus¬ 
sion. Hal Blaine can be heard on upcoming 
David Frizzell and Ray Price albums. 
Edward Metz is now the drummer in the 
Count Basie Orchestra. Percussionist 
Melvin Webb died November 12, 1982. 
Our condolences to his family and friends. 
Terri Lyne Carrington won the Outstand¬ 
ing Jazz Talent Award at the National As¬ 
sociation of Jazz Educators 10th annual 
convention in Kansas City. Peter Erskine 
spent much of April louring with Steps 
Ahead (formerly Steps) following the 
April release of their first Elektra/Musi- 
cian album. Look for the group this sum¬ 
mer at the Kool Jazz Festival and the Play¬ 
boy Jazz Festival. 

1 > 

Six decades of Slingerland® 
engineering and research have 
combined to bring you the finest 
drum set available in the percus¬ 
sion industry today. 

The Magnum system features the 
latest in percussion innovation and 
technology.. .maximum durability 
... infinite flexibility and of course 
the famous Slingerland® sound. 


• Magnum 10"x10" through 15"x15" 

• Lightening-fast Magnum foot pedal. 

• Triple-chrome-plated hardware. 

• Polyurethane fittings virtually elim¬ 
inate metal to metal contact on 
all hardware for a free drum or 
cymbal sound. 

• Magnum Snare stand adjusts to any 
position you will require. 

Superset rM locks with 
jusi a turn of our standard 
drum key tor precise 
height adjustment and 
easy set-up or tear-down. 

Magnum Tom Holders 

provide maximum 
stability and infinite 
versatility of multi tom 

Magnum Stands heavy 
duty \ n steel flatware 
tegs for unsurpassed 

SJapsbot lw Snare Strainer 

smooth, precise, offers 
consistent snare tension 
in either on or off posi¬ 
tion, eliminating sym¬ 
pathetic vibrations. 

PHONE (312) 647-0377 



The Avedis Zildjian Company 
brought together a line-up of 
outstanding percussionists to 
conduct clinics, free to the pub¬ 
lic, for "ZildjianDayinL. A.," 
hosted by the University of 
Southern California. Pictured 
(left-right) are: Phil Ehart, Lar- 
rie Londin, Rab Zildjian (vice¬ 
president/sales, North Amer- 

Drummers Collective an¬ 
nounces the formation of a 
Samba Percussion Workshop. 
The program is being taught by 
some of Brazil's top percus¬ 
sionists. It is an opportunity to 
play a variety of authentic Bra¬ 
zilian instruments and their ac- 



Spencer Aloisio, director of 
sales and marketing for the 
Slingerland/Deagan Co., has 
recently appointed Ed Jackson 
as field sales manager for the 
Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, 
and Arkansas area. Mr. Jack- 
son has an extensive percussion 
background including four 
years with the Marine Drum 
and Bugle Corps as a player and 
instructor. This background 
will enable Ed to act as a 
Slingerland sponsored clinician 
for the dealers and band direc¬ 
tors in his area. These clinics 
may be arranged free of charge 
upon request. Mr. Jackson 
holds a Bachelor of Arts degree 
from the University of Georgia 
and will handle Slingerland/ 
Deagan products exclusively. 

ica), Ralph MacDonald, Steve 
Gadd, Carmine Appice, Tony 
Williams, Lennie DiMuzio 
(Zildjian merchandising man¬ 
ager) and Jay Wanamaker. Ab¬ 
sent is percussionist Alex 
Acuna. Zildjian and Mac¬ 
Donald display the commemo¬ 
rative t-shirts that were distrib¬ 
uted to those in attendance. 

companying rhythms and 
styles. This program is being 
presented in association with 
Latin Percussion Instruments. 

For information: Drummers 
Collective, 130 W. 42nd St. 
Suite 948, New York, NY. (212) 



The Sabian cymbal company of 
New Brunswick, Canada, is 
proud to announce that distri¬ 
bution of all Sabian cymbal 
products will be handled 
through the following drum 
companies only: Ludwig Indus¬ 
tries, Pearl International Inc.. 
Slingerland Drum Co., and 
Charles Alden Music Co. Inc. 

Roy Edmunds, Sabian North 
American Sales Director, states 
that the acceptance by these 
U.S.A. percussion companies 
to handle the product is a reflec¬ 
tion of the confidence they 
have, not only in the product 
but for the team at the Sabian 

David Garibaldi has been 
named to the Paiste seminar 
staff. Ed Llewellyn, Paiste 
America president commented, 
"Dave is an extremely knowl¬ 
edgeable and articulate drum¬ 
mer and we're very happy to 
have him as our spokesman in 
seminars around the country. 
He's a fountain of insight 
about cymbals and drumming 
and I'm sure he will provide 
drummers with plenty of food 
for thought." 

Garibaldi has been a profes¬ 
sional drummer since age 17, 
and joined Tower of Power in 
1970. He has performed and re¬ 
corded with many artists, from 
Hoyt Axton to Joe Henderson. 


The Avedis Zildjian Company 
has appointed Gerard J. Done- 
gan Manager-Marketing Sup¬ 
port. Donegan is responsible 
for managing a wide variety of 
programs which support Zild- 
jian's worldwide sales effort, 
and insuring that it is compati¬ 
ble with the company's long¬ 
term marketing goals and ob¬ 
jectives. His responsibilities 
encompass customer service, 
public relations, trade shows, 
direct mail and collateral pro¬ 
grams, merchandising display, 
and materials, as well as other 
sales and marketing projects. 

Donegan joined Zildjian in 
1966 with responsibility for 
shipments and traffic. He be¬ 
came Traffic Manager in 1976, 
and Customer Service Manager 
in 1979. 

On becoming part of the 
Paiste Seminar staff, Garibaldi 
said, "I believe that drummers 
should explore the musical po¬ 
tential of their instruments and 
seek ways to expand their musi¬ 
cal horizons. I find it very stim¬ 
ulating to share my ideas in a 
seminar dialogue with drum¬ 
mers. The incredibly wide 
range of sounds from Paiste 
has been an inspiration to me 
and I'm pleased to pass the 
word along." 

For more information about 
David Garibaldi Seminars con¬ 
tact: Drummer Service, Paiste 
America, Inc., 460 Atlas Street, 
Brea, CA 92621. 


George Rose has joined the 
staff at Latin Percussion as 
sales coordinator. In 1979, 
Rose started his sales career as 
the New York area representa¬ 
tive for Musical Instrument 
Corporation of America. After 
a year, he was transferred to 
M.I.C.A.'s home office to ex¬ 
pand and enhance their sales ef¬ 
fort nationally. 

His responsibilities include 
coordinating outside and in- 
house sales efforts, and initiat¬ 
ing new ideas to keep Latin Per¬ 
cussion one of the industry's 



MAY 1983 

Four leading drummers, four different styles. 

Four more reasons for playing Yamaha System Drums. 

Because I’ve always been 
ve ry co n ce rn e d w i t h t h e 
quality of sound in a drum, 

1 use tbe Recording Custom 
Series drums, with these 
beautiful all-birch shells 
and a black piano finish. 
They give me a very con¬ 
trolled resonance with a 3at 
of tone. They let me relax 
with the music, so l can 
adjust my touch to any vol¬ 
ume requirements. Yamaha 
d nmis a re ve ry sen si ti ve, 
and there's always a reserve 
of sou nd. 

Yve always tended to go 
for simple equipment like 
the Tour Series snare 
drum with eight lugs, be¬ 
cause it’s easier for me to 
get the sound. Same thing 
goes for my hardware, which 
is why 1 like the 7 Series 
hardware. I don't require 
really heavy leg bracing so 
the lightweight stands are 
just fi n c; ve ry qu i et , t oo. 

With some drums, there 
isn't too much you can do 
to alter the sound. Some 
will give you a real deep 
thud, and others are real 
bright. With Yamaha, I can 
get both sounds, they're just 
very versa ti le. Mostly I like 
a deep round sound with 
tight definition, since my 
concept is that a drum is a 
melodic instrument like 
anything else. I can hear 
drum pitches, and Yamaha 
lets me achieve that without 
a lot of constant redlining. 

A s farastheir h a rd w a re. 
the snare drum stand and 
boom stands are very well 
thought-out. They feel like 
they were designed by a 
drummer, and they're not 
limited at all. The 9 Series 
snare drum stand’s ball till¬ 
er is fantastic; you can get 
the perfect angle for your 
playing posture. And the 
boom stand titter can double 
as two stands because it 
doesn't have a long handle. 
So the boom slides right in¬ 
side the rest of the stand if 
you don't need it. All in all, 
Yamaha is the perfect set 
of d rums for tone quali ty, 
sound, and ease of set-up. 

I'd been playing the same 
set of drums for ten years 
when I met up with the 
Yamaha people during a 
to u r o f I a pa n w i t h Rain bow. 
i told them that if they 
could come up with a kit 
that was stronger, louder 
and more playable than 
what I had, Fd play it. So 
they came up with this 
incredible heavy rock kit 
with eight ply birch shells, 
heavy-duty machined hoops 
and a pair of 26" bass 
drums that are like bloody 
cannons. And since I’m a 
v e ry 1 1 ea vy p I a ye r w h o 
needs a lot of volume, 
Yamahas are perfect For me. 
And the sound just takes 
off—the projection is fan¬ 
tastic so l can get a lot of 
volume without straining. 

There isn't an electric 
guitarist in the world who 
can intimidate me. and Fve 
played with the loudest. 
Yamaha drums just cut 
through better, like a good 
stiletto. They have the fat¬ 
test, warmest, most power¬ 
ful sound of any kit Fve 
p laye d a n d they can rea 11 y 
take it. For my style, 

Yamaha is the perfect all- 
around rock kit. 

Yamaha makes profes¬ 
sional equipment with the 
professional player in mind. 
They’re just amazing- 
sounding drums, and the 
Fact that their shells are per¬ 
fectly in-round has a lot to 
do with it. The head-to-hoop 
alignment is consistent; the 
nylon bushing inside I he 
lugs are quiet and stable so 
Ya in a h as I u ne real easy and 
stay in tune, too, I have a 
snare and it T s good as 
anything out there. H speaks 
fast, with n really brilliant 
sound and a lot of power. 
When you hit it hard, the 
drum just pops. And the 
throw-off mechanism is 
quick and agile, with good 
snare adjustment—it’s a 
basic design that works. 

And Yamaha hardware is 
really ingenious, every bit 
as good as the drums, Mike 
the 7 Scries hardware be¬ 
cause it s light and strong, 
especially the bass drum 
pedal, which has a fast, nat¬ 
ural feel. What can l say? 
Everything in the Yamaha 
drums system is so well 
designed, you want for noth¬ 
ing. Once you hook up with 
them, you ’ll stay with them. 

Yamaha Musical Products * A Division of Yamaha International Corporation ■ Box 7271, Grand Rapids, MI 4aStO 





Aquarian breaks the sound bar¬ 
rier for sound men and drum¬ 
mers. According to Roy Burns, 
owner of Aquarian accessories, 
"Our new, Hi-Energy Miking 
System delivers maximum 
sound with minimum distor¬ 
tion. High technology mic's are 
ideal for drums, cymbals, and 
percussion instruments." 

"Shock proof" clamps elim¬ 
inate the need for boom stands. 
There is no stage rumble, or no 
need to drill holes or re-make 
the drumset. They provide fast, 
easy, set up and perfect mic' 
positioning every time. 

Slingerland features it's new 
Iso-Lok clutch on all Magnum 
Hardware. Iso-Lok is a quar¬ 
ter-turn mechanism which 
locks-in the stand position 
when the lever is down, or al¬ 
lows the tube to move freely 
when the lever is up. 

Along with the Iso-Lok 
clutch, Slingerland has devel¬ 
oped the Superset. The Super¬ 
set is a height-adjustment de¬ 
vice which enables the player to 
set up stands the same way 
every time. Overlapping edges 
enable the Superset to fit snugly 
around the Iso-Lok and pre¬ 
vents the stand from turning 
side to side. The new Magnum 

McCune Sound, one of the 
nation's largest sound compan¬ 
ies, has been field testing the 
unit in actual concert situa¬ 
tions. Engineer after engineer 
attested to the realistic and un¬ 
colored drum sound. The Hi- 
Energy System out performed 
mic's that are twice as expen¬ 
sive in side by side concert situ¬ 
ations, according to McCune's 

For information write: Aq¬ 
uarian Accessories Corp., 1140 
N. Tustin Ave., Anaheim, CA 

hardware line features many in¬ 
novations such as Iso-Lok and 
Superset. All of these items are 
now available for immediate 
delivery. For more information 
visit your local Slingerland 
dealer or contact: Slingerland 
Drum Co., 6633 N. Milwaukee 
Ave., Niles, IL 60648. 

Axis Video has released three 
drummer video tapes. Bill Bru- 
ford has compiled Bruford and 
The Beat, which was seen by 
many attendees of Bruford's 
recent clinic tour in the U.S. for 
Tama drums. Axis also has two 
videotapes on Max Roach: Max 
Roach: In Concert and Max 
Roach: In Session. 

For more information: Axis 
f Video, 8414 Park Heights 
Ave., Baltimore, MD 21208. 


For the percussionists who are 
looking for chime cases, 
Spectrasound has them. The 
case in the photo holds the 
Spectrasound 35 chime Mark 
Tree. There are also fibre cases 
available for the 70 chime Mark 
Tree. Finally, the company car¬ 
ries a padded bag for the 
smaller Mark Tree. 

For more information: 
Spectrasound Percussion Prod¬ 
ucts, 13636 Burbank Blvd., 
Van Nuys, CA 91401. 


Three single-head drumsets, 
designed to sell from $267 to 
under $380, have been added to 
the Remo Pre-Tuned Series 
(PTS) line. 

Each set features a 14 x 22 
bass drum equipped with a sin¬ 
gle Ambassador Dark Coated 
PTS drumhead, said to deliver 
a punchy "kick sound" for 
rock, disco and studio perform¬ 
ance, plus a 5 x 14 two-headed 
snare drum. A 9 x 13 tom-tom, 
a 14 x 16 floor tom and a 8 x 12 
tom-tom are added to complete 
the three-, four- and five-piece 
sets. Pedal, hi-hat stand, snare 
stand and cymbal stand are in¬ 
cluded with each set. 

All the drums have Acousti- 
con shells with white finish and 
are furnished with replaceable, 
chrome-trimmed PTS drum¬ 



The Neary Drum-Torque, dis¬ 
tributed by Dalcam, produces 
high-level tonal control while 
reducing tuning time substan¬ 
tially. Essentially, the Drum- 
Torque is a torsion wrench 
which allows precise, equal ten¬ 
sioning of all bolts on a given 
drum. A dial on top of the 
wrench tells you how much 
force is being applied to the ten¬ 
sioning bolt. Charts indicate 
specific tensioning values for 
various sets of drums and sock¬ 
ets of all sizes are available. 

Developed first in 1977, the 
Drum-Torque has sold in Eng¬ 
land, Scotland, Germany, 
France, the Scandanavian 
countries, and Spain. Only re¬ 
cently have manufacturers be¬ 
gun to market the product in 
North America, and already re¬ 
sponse has been overwhelm¬ 
ingly positive. 

The advantages to the drum¬ 
mer are immediate. After set¬ 
ting up in a hall, all the drums 
can be tuned in five minutes. 
Even in a noisy hall or in the 
presence of other practicing 
musicians, tuning can be ac¬ 
complished simply and accu¬ 

For more information con¬ 
tact: Dalcam Music Industries 
Ltd., 6070 Quinpool Road, 
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada 


This is a widely used instrument 
in the Escolas de Samba in Bra¬ 
zil. They are available in 3 x 14 
and 6 x 14 sizes, in either metal 
or wood shell with plastic 
heads, with a metal leg rest and 
a clip for a shoulder strap. 
These drums have applications 
in all types of marching music 
and stage performances. Im¬ 
ported from the Gope Factory 
in Sao Paulo, Brazil. For cata¬ 
log send $1.00 to: World Per¬ 
cussion Inc., P.O. Box 502 Ca- 
pitola, CA 95010. .* 




MAY 1983 




Lesson On Miking Your Drumset 
Brought To You By 
Ibanez, Tama, And Joe English. 

The IM76. . Tor the low end, such as 
floor toms and bass drums. 

And for penetrating sound with a 
sharp attack. . The IM7G. 

When I heard that Ibanez had come up 
with a new line of microphones designed 
exclusively for use with drums. ! was 
anxious to hear the results. If you have 
experience with miking drums, you know 
how their sound can present a problem. 
And because drums are so unique as a 
sound source, it’s important that each 
area of the set is handled in the right 
way. Now. Ibanez has virtually eliminated 
drum miking problems with the introduc¬ 
tion of their Tech II microphone line. The 
Tech II line has been carefully designed 
to accomodate every aspect of percussive 
sound, from the splash of a cymbal to the 
kick of your bass. 

Tama Strongman Mikestands 

MS 155 MS 455 MS 355 

What’s the biggest problem with mike 
stands when it comes to miking drums? 
Yoirve got it. , , “Boom Sag.” You’ve 
probably been faced with this problem 
many times but just didn’t know what to 
do about it. Most mike stands weren’t 
designed to hold up under the kind of 
heavy duty usage required in drum miking. 
The answer to this problem is simple. 
Tama Strongman Mike-stands. 

Tama mikestands incorporate many of 
the same rugged features found in Tama’s 
Titan line of hardware, so you know it’s 
the strongest you can buy. 

Thanks to Ibanez mikes and Tama mike¬ 
stands, there’s finally a complete system 
for miking your drums. 


For a full color catalog send $2.00 to: Ibanez/Tama Dept. MD: P.O.Box 886 Bensalem, Pa. 19020; 

P.O. Box 2009 Idaho Falls, Id. 83401; 17421 B East Gale Ave. City of Industry. Ca. 91748; In Canada; 6355 Park Ave, Montreal. PQ H2V 4H5 


American Percussion 
Aquarian Accessories 
Armen Percussion Concepts 
Berklee College of Music 

Camber Cymbals 

Corder Drum Company 
Countryman Associates 
Creative Drum Shop 
Dean Markley Stix 

Discount Music & Drum World 
Drummers Collective 
Drummers World 
Drum Torque 
Drum Weai 
Drums Ltd. 

Drum Workshop 

Duraline . 

Freeport Music 

Gon Bops of California ....... 95 

Gretsch ....... Inside Back Cover 

Imperial Creations ..... 62 

J.C/s Drum Charts ...... 67 

Jopa Percussion .... 87 

Latin Percussion .. . . 36,41 

Long Island Drum Center .. 48 

Ludwig . Inside Front Cover,37 

L.T. Lug Lock ..... 78 

Manny's Music Store .*..... 63 

MayEA .... ....... 57 

Mechanical Music ....... 40 

Mel Bay Publications ... . 38 

Migerian Drum Company ... .88 

MD Library ..... 105 

MD Back Issues ....... . .. ... 84 

Modern Drum Shop ............. . 88 

Musician Player & Listener ... 79 

NJ Percussion Center .......... . 93 

NuVader __ 47 

Ohio University .. 66 

Pace Practice Pedal Pads ..... 62 

Paiste ........-...- .... 7 

Pastore Music ............... . 67 

Pearl International . 43 

Percussion Center .. 78 

Percussion World .. .......... ... 67 

Peters Percussion ....... 34 

Pied Piper .... 98 

Precision Drum Company . 62 

Premier .. .... .... 3 

Promark .... 48,109 

Regal Tip ......*. 69 

Remo ...*.— 45,76 

Resonant Drum Sticks ..... 69 

Rick Latham . 56 

Rim Shot Productions . 78 

Rogers . . 5 

Rolls Music Center ------- 89 

Sabian Ltd .... _ 39 

Sam Ash Music Stores .. 54 

Shure Bros ----- ....... 35,91 

Simmons .. 103 

Slingerland .. .111 

Sonor ............ ..... 33 

Stanley Spector School ....... 55 

Tama (Hoshino) . 50/51,58/59,115 

Universal Recording Corp . 67 

Valley Drum Shop . 56 

Vic Firth . 53 

Yamaha ......... .113 

Zildjian ........ Back Cover 

....... 95 

. 52 


. 82 

. 42 

_ 31 

.. 49 

.. 85 


__ .102 

.... 28/29 

•. 66 

...... .102 

. 77 

....... 89 

.. 73 

....... 54 

. 87 

__ 85 

_ 101 







Mike Clark 

Warming Up and 
Cooling Down 






Charlie Rolling ShttiM 

Tbny Drummer 

B etween Charlie Watts and Tbny Wiliams, there’s 
about 40 years of sets, from laid-back to blistering 
... all of them on Gretsch. Both Watts and Wiliams 
have brought their own unique styles and brands of 
improvisation to music we’ve grown up with, and it looks 
as though their inventiveness and consistently inspired 
playing is going to surprise and delight us for a long time 
to come. 

In a business where the competition is fierce and 
the turnover incredible, the fact that they’ve stuck with 
Gretsch from the start is a pretty eloquent statement. 

We rest our case, and the unbeatables go on ... and on 
... and on. 

P.0, Bo* 1250. Gallatin. TN3T0m(615)452-m3 



Tony Williams, who has played only K. Ziidjian cymbals made in Istanbul 
during his entire career, has found something new. 

The new K. Now made in the United States. But still individually cast from the 
secret Ziidjian alloy, and hand-hammered in the Ziidjian tradition. By the 
Avedis Ziidjian Company, makers of cymbals for 360 years. 

Accomplished drummers describe K. Ziidjian cymbals like connoisseurs 
describe a fine wine. 

“Deep, mellow, and rich,” says Tony. 

‘Their lower frequency range gives them a dark, dry tonal quality. With fewer 
overtones, I can get a tighter sound, really digging in without getting overpowered." 

Careful hand-hammering, a skill that took generations to perfect, is what gives the 
K its legendary sound. While others have tried to duplicate 
it, in the whole world there's still only one K. 

Ask Tony Williams. 

For your copy oi a lull-colorTony Williams poster, plus a 
Ziidjian Cymbals and Accessories Catalog, send S3.0D to (headdress below. 

Avedis Ziidjian Company, Cymbal Makers Since 1623. Longwater Drive, Norwell. Mass. 02061. USA The only serious choice. 

MO 53